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Environmental site assessment approved for old county courthouse

File photo

The Cape Girardeau County commissioners approved an environmental site assessment of the old Cape Girardeau Courthouse in Jackson on Oct. 14.

The assessment, which is part of a larger project to find a future use of the building, will include searches for lead and asbestos in the building.

The county approved a $6,670 bid from CITEX, an environmental consultant company based in St. Louis. CITEX was one of four bids for the project.

County Commissioner Paul Koeper said if anything was found and needed to be removed from the building, a separate bidding process would occur.

The commissioners also approved advertising for letters of interest for experienced design-build teams for the upcoming project that includes renovations of the 1908 courthouse and possible expansions of the existing jail campus.

“Going through this process with Navigate, the next part of the process is to solicit for folks who might be interested in undertaking the project,” Presiding Commissioner Clint Tracy said.

The county entered into a $208,420 contract with Navigate Building Solutions of St. Louis in July to create a facility needs study of the county’s buildings in Jackson. The study will be used to finalize plans for the old county courthouse. Initial findings from the study are expected to be presented to county officials in the next few months.

In other action:

• The commissioners discussed adding an online bidding platform, where vendors could submit bids without using the mail or delivering it in person.

“The last two or three years we have been looking at online bidding platforms,” County Commissioner Charlie Herbst said. “When we put things out for bid, people ask if they can submit electronically, and we don’t have a process for that.”

Herbst said Boone County currently has an online bidding contract with IonWave, which has worked well for them. Herbst and County Clerk Kara Clark Summers have been in contact with Boone County officials to learn more about the process.

“There’s been a lot of challenges the last few years with mail, as far as people submitting their bids and then they arrive late.” Summers said. “It’s kind of out of the vendors control.”

She added that the online bidding system would also allow companies to keep their contact information up to date.

Summers said it is currently difficult to keep track of whom to send bid proposals to when contact people change jobs. If added, vendors would be able to list multiple people to receive the bid proposal, as well as any addendums needed.

Summers added that online bidding systems also provide RFP templates that various county offices could use and would allow all questions from vendors to be located in a centralized place.

Summers said the county already sends bids electronically and stopped mailing packets “a long time ago.” She added the county would have a way to submit a bid in person if a vendor was unable to submit online.

The topic will be brought up at a later meeting for a vote.

• The county approved a contract renewal with Edward J. Rice Company for canvassing of voters for 2021-2022. Summers said the county is required by law to send voter cards to everyone who hasn’t received one in the past six months.

• The county approved a three-year contract extension with Keefe Commissary for the county jail. Sheriff Ruth Ann Dickerson said the company has partnered with the county to add machines in pods so inmates can purchase certain products themselves.

• The county approved a $3,972 purchase from ISG Technology for new 911 fiber connection network equipment to increase security and reliability between Cape Girardeau and Jackson.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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