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Mediation Could Be Used to Settle Council Bluffs Dispute

Tuesday, April, 10, 2018

The dispute between the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors and the Council Bluffs City Council is headed toward mediation.  The dispute grew from questions about the future of the current police headquarters. 


Both sides are discussing mediation, but before either makes the final commitment to the process, the supervisors plan to decide what to do about the useful life of the building.  According to Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh, discussions have already begun with the attorney that would serve as mediator when the time comes.  Mediation services would be provided free of charge.


A Grant to Right to Occupy and Covenant from 1981 formed an agreement between the two sides regarding the termination of occupancy by the by the city as long as both sides agree, or if the building’s useful life expires.


According to those involved, mediation is likely the next step, once the useful life issue is settled, because if it started prior to that there would be too many “moving parts”. Mediation would not be productive until some of these initial issues are settled.  At that point, both sides are willing to sit down and finalize the undecided points in the dispute.


One the useful life of the building is determined, it will need to be decided if the county owes the city any money.  Should they decide the useful life of the building is not complete, it will need to be determined if it is within the city’s rights to move other offices into the law enforcement center building.