ST. JOSEPH - The St. Joseph City Council voted to turn down bids and put the government center project idea on hold on Thursday night.

The council voted 4-1 in the decision after numerous people criticized and questioned the purpose of the project. Many felt the money would be better served in other areas and that the idea was poorly communicated to citizens.

Bids for the project came $300,000 short. The council was considering building the new government center at the current City Hall location.

St. Joseph Mayor Rick Schultz presented a new plan to renovate the current City Hall building as an alternative idea. Schultz said that most citizens were concerned about the planned community room. Residents preferred to use sales taxes to build a community center.

Several citizens spoke out against the project at the start of the meeting. One said that nearly 1,000 people had signed a petition against the proposed idea.

The projected cost of the building was estimated at $4.4 million to $4.5 million dollars.