Kosciusko House Movers submitted a bid of $161,454 to move the century-old structure from its current location on Main and Madison streets to a vacant lot several blocks away in Mill Village.
City officials on Tuesday opened the bid.
It far exceeded the originally estimated cost of $100,000, which Kosciusko House Movers also had provided months earlier. But that estimate didn't include a litany of items - including utility line relocation and tree removal - that appear in the official bid.
Now, Tupelo City Council members might reject a state grant that would pay for the home's relocation and, in effect, kill the entire project.
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History had awarded Tupelo a $175,000 grant - $35,000 of which the city must match - to move and stabilize the structure. The grant designated $100,000 for the move, $25,000 to prepare a new foundation, and $50,000 to stabilize and "moth ball" the house until later renovation.
Council members didn't immediately accept the grant, which has sat on the table for weeks, because it wanted an official bid first.
But the sole bid will eat most of the grant funds and leave little for the foundation or the stabilization, neither of which appear in Kosciuskio's proposal.
"The reason we hadn't accepted the grant is this very reason," said council President Fred Pitts. "The grant needed to cover all the costs, and this doesn't."
The council late Tuesday kept the grant on the table, and Pitts said members will discuss the situation next week. In the meantime, the Tupelo Historic Preservation Commission will try to reduce costs.
The commission had won city approval to save the house. It also found the grant. Member Doyce Deas said the city could lower the price by performing some of the work itself.
It could save $16,000 alone, she said, by removing trees and hauling debris.
Deas also said Tupelo Water amp& Light could waive its $31,000 fee, which is reflected in the bid, for relocating utility lines during the relocation. But TWamp&L Manager Johnny Timmons said Tennessee Valley Authority, from which TWamp&L buys its power, requires him to charge for work unless it improves the power system. This doesn't, he said.
The city and the Historic Preservation Commission have until Oct. 1 to move the Spain House before it reverts back to its previous owner, Calvary Baptist Church.
The church, which offered to pay $10,000 toward the relocation project, signed the house over to the city two years ago with the understanding it'd be moved. If not, it plans to demolish the structure so it can develop the site for its congregation.