Commission delays decision on bids to paint four fire stations

Updated: Sep 1, 2021


  • The Mound City fire station is one of four around the county that is slated to be repainted. The lowest bid on it was $22,000. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)


MOUND CITY – The Linn County Commission on Monday, Aug 23, decided to delay any decision on painting four fire stations after receiving bids they saw as too high. After county Fire Chief Doug Barlet presented the bids, the Linn County Commissioners decided to get more information.


The first bid that Barlet presented the commissioners was from Insco Industries, Shawnee, Kan. Barlet said that the bid had been placed in the door at his office sometime between 6:15 a.m. and 8 a .m. that morning. Since bids were due by 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 20, he said he was not going to open the bid as that had been the policy in the past.


The other two bids were from Pinnacle Painting for $92,820 and Gary Pemberton for $80,000. Both companies are from La Cygne.

Pinnacle bid $21,100 each on the Parker and Blue Mound stations. On Mound City, the bid was $28,020 and on Pleasanton $22,600.

Pemberton bid $22,000 on both Pleasanton and Mound City, and $18,000 on both Blue Mound and Parker.

The La Cygne and Prescott fire stations are around 15 years old and do not need painting at this time.


Commissioners Rick James and Jim Johnson expressed surprise at the numbers. Commissioner Danny McCullough was attending the meeting virtually and did not comment.

“To paint four buildings, $80,000 to paint four buildings?” James asked.


Linn County Counselor Gary Thompson pointed out that they were putting three coats on the buildings.

Barlet said that they had $58,000 for station maintenance in the 2021 budget to finish the roof project which they were able to pay for from last year’s budget and had budgeted $33,030 for painting the buildings. At that time they budgeted the $33,000 for painting the four stations with just one coat of acrylic per building.


James asked if there were any other paint companies that looked at the buildings besides Sherwin Williams. James asked if these two bidders knew how to apply this product. Barlet said that he had checked with representatives from both of these companies and both had used this product before.

Barlet explained that he did not have paint expertise, so he had a Sherwin-Williams representative come down to look at the buildings to decide what paint would be appropriate. The representative said that because of the rust and the condition of the tin on the 40-year-old buildings that a primer, intermediate coat, and topcoat should be used for best results.


The acrylic option had a 6- to 12-year life and the epoxy/urethane/fluoropolymer system had a 15- to 20-year life.


Barlet said that he had presented these options to the Linn County Fire District #1 Board and they had voted unanimously to use the one with the 15- to 20-year life. So, that was the specification that Barlet put in the bid contract. Barlet said that he did not specify that the paint had to be from Sherwin Williams but that paint of the same type and quality was to be used.


Barlet said that the fire board’s decision was based on the idea that labor was a large part of the cost and it would be more cost effective to use a paint that lasted longer and did not have to be repainted as frequently.


Barlet said that the county would take down the signage on the buildings and cut away brush.


James asked if any of the board members had ever had a building painted that way. He said that $20,000 per building sounded like a tremendous amount of money to spray on paint.


James suggested that Barlet could contact another paint company instead.


Barlet said he could throw the bids out and go with acrylic.

James said he would like to wait a week for McCullough to return to the meeting in person.

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