GOP gets zoning permit for new building on same site

Published 2:46 pm Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Building will allow rear access, GOP board says
A new Polk County Republican Headquarters will be constructed on the same site, with officials hoping for construction to begin within four months.
The Town of Columbus recently approved a zoning permit for the new construction.
GOP officials say they have set up a committee to work with nearby property owners to select the most appropriate location for the building on the site to ensure that all businesses have access to the rear of their buildings.
“We are going to do whatever we can to make sure everybody has access to their properties. We want to get ideas from businesses and make it work out for everybody,” Polk Republican chair Michael Gage said.
Last year, neighboring businesses Tile Specialties and The Brick expressed interest in purchasing the lot, with an offer of $110,000. The Brick’s portion of the total was originally discussed at $30,000, but no contract to purchase was submitted.
Local Republican officials decided that the total offer was not going to be enough to purchase an alternate property, so Tile Specialties’ offer was declined. The GOP was still interested in selling the rear portion of the lot to The Brick and sent a letter recently giving the restaurant until Feb. 25 to make an official offer, but no contract was submitted.
The Republican Headquarters building, located on Peak Street in Columbus, was condemned after the roof collapsed following a heavy snow in December 2009. The building was torn down last year. Local GOP officials offered to sell the lot to the town to use for parking for $150,000, but the town declined.
The building was originally built to house the town’s post office in the 1950s-1960s. It was constructed close to the street and blocked a former town alley.
Polk Republicans have a couple of options on where to locate the new building, including moving it farther back and to the right on the property than the original building to provide more parking, which could block access to the rear of approximately five businesses. If the new building blocks the current access, the former alley will be re-opened, Gage said.
The new building is planned to be a metal building that can be constructed in about three months. The front of the building will have to meet town ordinances, which do not allow steel fronts, so GOP officials plan on creating a facade that matches other town buildings.
Gage said within a few weeks, an engineer should be selected to design the building.
The Polk Republican Party has a building committee, which Gage says is very dedicated to selecting local contractors and sub-contractors for the project.