Council shocked at bid amounts

Ireton council member Rodney Ten Napel (in the red hat) scratches his head thinking about the amount of money the sealed bids are for the bathroom/concession stand project.


IRETON—The Ireton City Council tabled its proposed bathroom/concession stand project for the Ireton ball field.

The decision came after the council reviewed two bids for the project at its regular monthly meeting Monday, Sept. 16.

Schelling Construction of Sioux Center bid the project at $192,567 and PR Construction of Ireton bid the project at $179,887. 

“That is quite a bit higher than I thought it was going to be,” said council member Rodney Ten Napel. “I can’t see where you are going to come up with an extra $130,000. It’s a lot of money.”

There is roughly $50,000 in city funds and donations designated for the project. 

During an April city council meeting, the group favored using concrete block walls with a split face on the outside and smooth face on the inside for the bathroom facility so it wouldn’t need to be painted. 

Specs for proposed project

Plans and specs for the bathroom/concession stand project the bids were based from for the city of Ireton.


Most of the council’s discussion then revolved around various details, such as what materials to use for lighting, partitions, sinks and doors in order to send the project out for bid. Rough estimates for the facility at that time ranged from $72,000-$100,000.

“Until you pencil it out, we don’t ever know, until the bids come in,” said Ireton mayor Chris Mueller.

“I’m not going to stick my neck out and vote for something that I am going to get my butt chewed for,” Ten Napel said. “I think you almost need to have a town vote.”

Ireton city administrator/clerk Carol Liston agreed that a project of that amount should be voted on by the community.

“We would need to have fundraisers and get the community behind the project,” she said.

Council members discussed whether the city parks and recreation department as well as the booster club could be contacted for suggestions on fundraising, grants opportunities and other possible ways to fund the project at a later date. 

Though taking out a loan on the project would be a potential option, the council agreed it would limit the city’s ability to fund necessary sewer and street projects.

“This is nice; it would be fantastic to have it, but infrastructure is certainly a priority,” Mueller said. “It’s a big ask.”

Council agreed to start marketing for the project, setting a goal to raise $200,000 before construction could begin.

Mueller addresses council

Mayor Chris Mueller addressing a question from council member Dawn Mueller during the discussion on claims and payments early in the meeting.


Other matters

In other matters Monday, the council:

Heard that two rounds of interviews for the deputy clerk position were done by an employee committee. The city’s intent is to fill the full-time position by Oct. 1, with city administrator/clerk Carol Liston going part-time while assisting the new hire ensuring a smooth transition. Application reviews were narrowed down to three candidates. Council OK’d the committee to offer the position to a female candidate.

Heard a request from Ireton Cantina owner Norm Poel, asking if he could close a portion of Ireton’s Main Street in front of his business the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 12, to allow adequate parking for a poker run fundraiser that will be coming through Ireton that afternoon. Council approved the closure with good faith that the streets will be cleaned up and garbage will be picked up.