REED CITY \u2014 A $304,000 bid received for the planned rehabilitation project at a senior meal and activity site in Marion left Osceola County officials with many questions and concerns during their Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 5. COA Director Scott Schryer and Landmark Design\u2019s Bob Van Putten presented the bids received for rehabilitation work on the building in Marion, including two handicap accessible restrooms, two HVAC units and new electrical service for the kitchen. They also requested bidders to quote a movable wall and fixing the building\u2019s roof. The lowest bid belonged to Steve Jones Construction of Big Rapids. The project, Schryer told officials, would help fix the building for seniors in Marion to activities and meals. Currently, the Marion Eagles are donating a room to accommodate the seniors. \u201cWhen I came on board, we were going to do big things,\u201d he said. \u201cWe had no footprint in Marion and now we do. We know that corner of the county wants the activities from their feedback.\u201d Schryer said the COA budget has a little more than $400,000, and could cover the cost of the project, but would leave them with less than he would like, though there are grants available to help offset some of the cost. It wasn\u2019t readily available which grants could be applied for or the criteria to meet for others. \u201cProviding services is not an issue,\u201d said commission chair Larry Emig. \u201cWe have improved our presence there. I don\u2019t think we would argue against having our own facility. \u201cThe issue is the cost. It\u2019s not an issue that we have the money or we don\u2019t have the money. We have the money. It\u2019s in your budget because it\u2019s been saved as a result of being good stewards with the money. The issue is the money, and where you spend it. Are there other options less costly?\u201d The idea of constructing a new building, rather than fixing up an older one, also was discussed. \u201cIt\u2019s unfortunate that we originally projected the cost at $100,000 to $150,000,\u201d said commissioner Mark Gregory. \u201cWe can\u2019t do what we thought we could do and do what we wanted. With the initial investment, what we paid for the building and remodeling it? We are not going to build a building that size for that amount of money.\u201d Commissioners Alan Tiedt and Pam Wayne expressed concerns about spending that amount of money in Marion, noting such an investment there could delay anything happening in Reed City, where there is a larger population who would utilize a site. \u201cHow do you think the Reed City area is going to respond?\u201d Tiedt asked Schryer. \u201cYou\u2019ll be taking almost all of your fund there, while the bigger number of people are in Reed City and more would use a place there.\u201d Shryer said a plan for a Reed City site is still in place, saying that it a different project. Wayne said she was concerned about the immediacy of the project now, because it first was brought to officials as a project with multiple phases. \u201cWe thought it was going to be a project that was going to be done over some years,\u201d she said. \u201cNow we have to have something immediately. \u201cThere are taxpayers in this county that don\u2019t think spending $300,000 in Marion is a good idea. It seems to happen all the time. We\u2019re given information and make decisions based on that information and then the information changes.\u201d Gregory and County Coordinator Sue Vander Pol noted a project with phases would, in the long run, end up costing more as the cost of materials will continue to rise in the coming years. No action was taken by the committee, as the bids still will be good for its next meeting. However, officials asked Schryer to seek more information about grants available for the project. The next Osceola County Committee of the Whole meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18.