IONIA — The wheels are just beginning to turn, but events have been put into motion in the initial stages of constructing a new central services building for Ionia County.
During an Ionia County Board of Commissioners meeting on Dec. 17, commissioners approved a recommendation from the facilities committee to authorize the spending of up to $10,000 for the service of a facilities planner.
Former commissioner Mark Vroman, whose term ended last month, made a motion to allow the county administrator and the physical plant director to proceed with the process of finding a facilities planner/architect to offer assistance to the county for the proposed Central Services Building, with funding to come from the general fund with the cost not to exceed $10,000.
The facilities planner would assist the county with determining options for building a new central services building for the county.
According to Commissioner Larry Tiejema, the county is in negotiations to acquire property adjacent to the county courthouse on Main Street. That site, along with a site along Adams Street near the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office, are being looked at as potential locations for the new facility.
“We’re in the basic planning stages right now,” Tiejema said. “We’re looking at a new central services building because the courthouse is currently very crowded and a new building would free up space for current operations at the courthouse.
Tiejema said while the decision to find a facilities planner was made, no bids for the position have been offered as of yet.
“The potential facilities planner will analyze the situation and eventually make a recommendation on how we should pursue the new facility,” he said. “We’d like a new building, but all bets are off when you start looking.”