The City of Pierre is eyeing plans to demolish the old city hall on East Dakota Avenue, but in the meantime, the public can submit sealed bids for some of the facility’s old equipment.

“It’s actually not an auction, it’s a sale by sealed bid,” City Finance Officer Twila Hight said. The city will be receiving sealed bids through Nov. 29 for used chiller and air conditioning units and oak cabinets that were installed at the old city hall.

Hight said the City of Pierre still owns the building and demolition is still planned for the future.

“We’re working on plans for demolition,” Hight said. “We were kind of hoping to schedule it for winter work, but it’ll have to go out to bid, and so it’ll still come through the commission when it gets to that point.”

Hight said that she is not aware of anyone having expressed interest in purchasing the building, which sits along Dakota Avenue between South Highland Avenue and South Chapelle Street.

“Old city hall had a previous life as a jail. That meant it was difficult to wire for modern technology, retrofit with updated environmental controls, or reconfigure to meet current office needs,” Pierre city communications manager Brooke Bohnenkamp said Monday. “The city commission had been looking at the need for a new city hall for at least a decade, and we feel very fortunate, that in 2018, we were relocated to the new building. New city hall has larger meeting rooms, more functional space, and modern security features. Some of those changes, like bigger meeting rooms and security features at the front desk, made the COVID-19 transition much easier. We had barriers in place and room to spread out.”

The Pierre City Commission held its final meeting in the building on July 31, 2018. The city government then relocated to its current location on Patron Parkway, northeast of downtown Pierre.

According to previous Capital Journal reporting, the Pierre City Commission began saving money for a new City Hall in the mid-1950s after switching from a council form of government, with then-Mayor John Griffin complaining that that the city government’s then-home was “a disgraceful dump,” Mayor Steve Harding said.

“Although the space on East Dakota was no longer meeting the needs of modern government operations, the location is ripe for development,” Bohnenkamp said. “It’s prime real estate along our community’s biggest traffic corridor. It’s close to the river, adjacent to downtown, and highly visible.”

The Dakota Avenue city hall was completed and moved into in 1959 and included a jail, dispatch center and the headquarters of the Pierre Police Department, two of which are today housed east of downtown at Solem Public Safety Center on South Dakota Highway 34, with the dispatch center at the the George S. Mickelson Building.

Hight said she doesn’t know how much the city expects to make off of the sale, which runs through early next week. The sealed bids must be clearly marked “Bid Enclosed — Items for Sale,” according to the city bidding notice placed online on Nov. 16. Hight is the contact person for any questions regarding the items or the bidding rules.

All bids should be sent to City of Pierre; 2301 Patron Parkway, Suite 1; PO Box 1253; Pierre, SD 57501.

Potential bidders have until 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 29 to submit their bids, and the Board of City Commissioners reserves the right to reject any and all bids made.

The chiller unit, still installed at 222 E. Dakota, will need to be removed by the purchaser, according to the city bidding notice.

Michael Woodel | 605-224-7301 ext. 131

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