On the night the Tazewell County Board welcomed a new member to its ranks, the board Wednesday also approved a bid to remove the asbestos from the former Pekin Daily Times building and approved the sale of items from within the building, which is due to be razed before the summer ends.
The board awarded the bid to remove the asbestos from the 19th-century building at the corner of South Fourth Street and Elizabeth Street to Atlantic Plant Services for $33,850. The company actually submitted the second lowest bid, but got the award because it has a Pekin-based branch office and would use local labor, according to the recommendation submitted by the county’s buildings and ground manager, Dan Gillette. Atlantic Plant Services also performed the same service for the county when it remodeled the McKenzie Building about six years ago, the recommendation said.
“Project coordination efforts would also be greatly enhanced by dealing with a local company,” Gillette said in his recommendation.
The county will also be putting up for sale on its website excess property left in the old Times building and the old radio station next door, both of which are due for demolition to make way for more county parking.
The county bought the two buildings in September 2011 for a total of $267,000. The old Times building had been on the market for years at that point but nobody came forward with the intention of investing the significantly large amount of money required to bring the building up to code.
County Administrator Mike Freilinger confirmed in early February that the buildings will not survive 2013 and that the county has no intention of changing its plan.
“We haven’t gotten any type of proposal or anything, and we haven’t done any type of marketing for that,” Freilinger said. “My understanding when I came here is it was purchased specifically for the county to demolish for either parking or, perhaps, a building at some point in time. It was not the county’s intent to buy it and then sell it.”
The board Wednesday also officially approved the appointment of John Redlingshafer to take the seat representing District 3 left vacant by Paul Hahn, who resigned in January due to health reasons. Redlingshafer is an attorney specializing in local government law who lives in Washington.
He missed out on a Republican nomination to run unopposed for the board in 2012 when he fell 81 votes shy in the primary election of the final spot on the general election ballot.
Redlingshafer took his oath of office with his wife and four daughters at his side.
The board was still meeting as of press time.
Follow Ken Harris at Twitter.com/kenharrispdt