Four companies presented their qualifications in a bid to lead a proposed project to turn the former Bank of America building on the Carthage Square into the new Jasper County Sheriff’s Headquarters.
Jasper County officials met at the Courthouse on Tuesday and opened what Presiding Commissioner John Bartosh described as the responses to the county’s “request for qualifications” from contractors to lead the project.
“Whoever we pick from these four companies will then go out and seek bids on the project,” Bartosh said. “We don’t feel qualified to hire a contractor so we’ll have the company we pick go out and hire the people to do the work.”
Companies submitting qualifications were Dalton-Killinger, Joplin; G&G Construction, Carthage; Zahner Henson Construction, Brentwood, Tenn.; and Bowman Construction, Joplin.
Jasper County Sheriff’s Lt. Matt Stoller took the four proposals to study and will return to the commissioners next week with a recommendation.
Bartosh said the county’s plans include adding office space by building a mezzanine in the lobby of the old bank and upgrading the entire building to serve as the headquarters of the Sheriff’s office.
Currently, the sheriff’s office leases a complex of buildings on County Road 180 near the former Atlas facility southwest of Carthage for $69,800 a year.
Former Sheriff Archie Dunn moved the sheriff’s office from the Jasper County Detention Center to the County Road 180 complex in 2008 to free up space at the jail and give detectives and deputies more space.
Since the election brought new Sheriff Randee Kaiser into office, county officials have discussed moving the sheriff into the bank building that the county bought several years ago.
Bartosh said no final decision has been made on the move. He said the county needs to find out if it can afford the reconstruction before making that decision.
Bartosh said if the county goes ahead with the move, they would like to have the sheriff in the bank building by the end of the year to avoid paying another annual lease payment on the County Road 180 location.
Bartosh said a contractor he talked to said the proposed changes could be finished in four months.
The county bought the building, on the corner of Main and Third Street on the northwest corner of the Square, from Bank of America in 1999 and rented the building back to the bank until it consolidated its operations to a location in the south part of Carthage in 2011.
The County Recorder of Deeds, Treasurer and other offices are located in space above the former drive-through teller lanes and the Jasper County Child Support Enforcement Office occupies a couple of offices in the main lobby.
Page 2 of 2 - Bartosh said the Child Support officials will move to a conference room in the building during the reconstruction.
Jasper County Clerk Bonnie Earl has expressed concern about storage space for the equipment used in county elections. Those items are currently stored in the basement of the building, which she says is climate controlled and perfectly located for her and her staff to maintain and retrieve when needed.
Bartosh said a decision on what to do with that equipment will be made at a later date.