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Stark Co. commissioners lean toward new building for human services

Stark County human services, now dispersed in older buildings throughout Dickinson, may be getting an entirely new facility, commissioners said after hearing the results of a feasibility study of the project at their Tuesday meeting.

Stark County human services, now dispersed in older buildings throughout Dickinson, may be getting an entirely new facility, commissioners said after hearing the results of a feasibility study of the project at their Tuesday meeting.
The county had commissioned KLJ to look into the costs of renovating the existing Social Services building on Third Avenue West, buying and renovating the old Sanford Dickinson Clinic building or building a new facility.
Factoring in the need for expansion, the cost of buying and updating the outdated Sanford Clinic and wanting to centralize services, commissioners were leaning toward building a new facility for all services, including the Veterans’ Service Office, North Dakota State University Extension and the Sunrise Youth Bureau.
While every office will see growth, “a major part of the growth will be in Social Services,” KLJ’s Jon Wilczek said.
Commissioners also like the idea of locating the services together.
“I like the idea of having veterans’ services near Social Services because of the fact that they do offer some similar services that are used, especially by veterans,” Commissioner Ken Zander said.
County Road Superintendent Al Heiser said for purposes of snow removal and yard work, it’s easier when county buildings are close.
“I like the idea of a central location,” commissioner Pete Kuntz echoed, “all-in-one instead of maintaining three buildings.”
Commissioners seemed to come to a consensus with all signs pointed to building new.
“I do not see us buying an older building and renovating,” Commissioner Duane “Bucky” Wolf said, adding that he’d like to see the services in a new building.
Commissioners were appreciative of KLJ’s study.
“I think it gives us a direction,” Wolf said, “and it gives us one direction.”
Wilczek said if the commission is “really leery” about future growth, it may be best to build new where there will be open land for expansion down the line.
Zander said the buildings currently in use would be sold, with money going toward the new building project.
Wilczek will return to the commission’s next meeting on Sept. 2 with a quote for another feasibility study, this one looking at options for where to build new.

Lymn is a reporter at The Dickinson Press. Contact her at (701) 456-1211 or tweet her at kathlymn.

Related Topics: DICKINSON
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