MENOMONIE — The Dunn County Board voted Wednesday to move its offices in downtown Menomonie into the Community Services Building at the edge of the city.
The city and county share space in the Government Center, 800 Wilson Ave. Menomonie is currently leasing the third floor from the county.
The two options on the table Wednesday were to spend an estimated $3.8 million on improvements to the county’s existing offices that occupy the first and second floors of the building.
The other option was to spend an estimated $3.7 million to move into the Dunn County Community Services Building, 3001 U.S. 12 E., where there is a wing and a floor that is not occupied.
The final vote was 26-1 in favor of moving. The one vote opposing vote came from Supervisor Larry Bjork. He urged the board to stay put and said he believes the past supervisors that helped find the current offices in the 1960s would want them to invest in the property.
Some supervisors expressed concerns about how quickly the decision came about.
Supervisor Kitz Cleary said she is concerned the public has not had enough time comment.
She added that the impact of moving out of downtown could be profound.
“And we haven’t heard from them,” she said.
This was also a problem for Supervisor Mary Solberg.
Ultimately, many of the comments from supervisors in favor of the move suggested this is the best option financially for the county.
Supervisor Charles Maves said that he strongly supports moving and sees it as a the most cost effective option for county tax payers.
Creating a county campus is also the best financial decision, according to Supervisor Elton Christopherson.
Supervisor Gary Stene echoed those comments.
“Things change, and I think it’s a smart time to do that,” he said.
Moving the county offices to the Community Services Building will cost the county to adapt the vacant space in the open wing into offices and create additional parking.
The improvements needed at the Government Center include heating, asbestos abatement, ventilation and air-conditioning repairs. The elevator in the building is not handicapped accessible.
Other necessary work includes roof repairs and sprinkler system installation.
The Menomonie City Council unanimously passed a motion June 16 stating its intention to stay in the Dunn County Government Center if it is economically reasonable.
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