Stark Co. Social Services offices crampedStark County commissioners said some local county and agency offices are becoming too cramped, and the need for an additional building is growing.
By: Dain Sullivan, The Dickinson Press
Stark County commissioners said some local county and agency offices are becoming too cramped, and the need for an additional building is growing.
Office space was one issue discussed during the Stark County Commission meeting Tuesday. Chairman Ken Zander said a committee will be in charge of establishing the necessary square footage and potential location for a building, which would house offices for the Sunrise Youth Bureau, Stark County Social Services, North Dakota State University’s Stark/Billings County Extension and Stark County Veterans Services.
“Commissioner (Pete) Kuntz and myself, by direction from the other county commissioners, will be contacting a firm to complete a needs assessment,” Zander said.
In November, Zander told The Press the Stark County
Social Services building on the north side of Dickinson was “inadequate,” but he was unsure if building a new structure to house Social Services was the way to go.
Now he believes a building is needed to contain local offices, especially those located in the Stark County Courthouse in Dickinson.
“I know that we’ve got people doubled up in office space and basically working out of closets,” he said.
Commissioner Duane “Bucky” Wolfe said board members are looking at two possible locations. One lot is on 23 Ave. W. in Dickinson, another is at an unspecific amount of acreage set aside close by.
Jerry Mayer, director for the Sunrise Youth Bureau, said he would have no problem relocating if it means having more space. He is grateful for what he has to work with, but the agency’s building on Villard Street is often not big enough to house area kids in need.
“If we have two to three kids spending the night here, and then we have other kids coming in for counseling, and then we have other kids coming in for classes, we don’t have that much room,” Mayer said. “It would be nicer to get a bigger spot, if we could work it out.”
Mayer added that since an oil boom reached the area, there has been about a 30 percent increase in the amount of kids who have visited the agency.
“Influx of people obviously has an impact,” he said.
To accommodate more kids, Mayer also said it would help to have more separated office space, so kids have more “confidentiality” when they walk through the front doors. He also said more parking spots would be helpful and the bureau would have to be open 24 hours a day.
While agencies like the Sunrise Youth Bureau could use more leg room as soon as possible, Zander said people might have to wait a little while longer for permanent building plans to be established.