The Hancock County Courthouse will be under construction in June, as most of the offices and stairwells will be getting a flooring facelift to replace 20+ year old carpet. Instead of completing the process during closed hours, the undertaking is expected to take a few weeks and be completed during regular business hours with the help of 2 moving/installation companies estimating charges at nearly $23,000 to disassemble and move equipment, desks and cabinets around the courthouse, then reassemble. Hancock County Supervisor Jerry Tlach tells about the costly burden on the taxpayers.
The estimated $23,000 is on top of the $41,000 quote from In-Step Flooring for installation and purchase of materials, which brings the total cost to replace courthouse flooring to nearly $64,000…and possibly more…as the estimate from the largest franchised moving company Two Men and a Truck states “the breakdown of costs indicates estimated totals only; this is not a firm price. The final cost may be more or less based on the actual move time and materials used.” The move tentatively will occur over 7 phases for the different offices, including basement, third floor, assessor, recorder, auditor, and treasurer’s office. Tlach says the the project will kick off on June 1st, wavering slightly on whether offices will need to temporarily close and how this could affect the taxpaying public.
Hancock County recorder Tracy Marshall was in charge of contacting moving companies for quotes, receiving only one on May 18th from Two Men and a Truck from Ames. Small business UniMovers, formerly College Movers, never received a request for quote, although UniMovers has done projects right here in Hancock and Winnebago Counties. UniMovers is currently moving the large-scale Cedar Rapids State Public Defender’s Office for $1,687.50.
UniMovers also provided KIOW with what they would have quoted the move around the courthouse project – $8,950 total, which would have saved taxpayers nearly $10,000, helped give college students income and scholarships, as well as provided funding for non-profits. That quote was emailed to the Hancock County Board of Supervisors, but the board acknowledged it will proceed with the already approved more costly quote from Two Men and a Truck.
Unfortunately as a smaller business, UniMovers doesn’t have the same branding resources as the nationally recognized Two Men and a Truck, but bigger doesn’t always mean better as owner Collin Flynn says UniMovers is cheaper for a reason.