Houston County commissioners accepted the $61,710.00 Space Utilization Study proposal from Collaborative Design Group at the November 8 commission meeting. Chairman Greg Myhre called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. He led commissioners and guests in the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioners in attendance include Chairman Myhre, Teresa Walter, Robert (Bob) Burns, Eric Johnson, and Dewey Severson.
The commissioners unanimously approved the meeting’s agenda and the November 1 board minutes with one correction.
Discussion continued from an earlier commission meeting on the Space Utilization Study proposal presented by Collaborative Design Group on June 24, 2022. In October, the commissioners asked the Design Group for a clarification of fees. In a letter dated October 31, 2022, the Design Group submitted a letter explaining the revised scope of work and readjusted fees based on the commissioners’ input. The updated proposal includes three buildings – historic courthouse, the community services building, and the justice center. The historic jail is included in the proposal as an option per a request by the commission. Also included in the revised proposed were the consultation and study of the four additional departments housed in the justice center – courts administration, county attorney, sheriff’s office, and corrections plus the 13 departments listed in the original Request for Proposal (RFP) – assessor’s office, auditor/treasurer’s office (including the licensing center), building maintenance, driver license examinations, finance and EDA, information systems, personnel, planning and zoning, public health and human services, recorder, surveyor, veterans services, and University of Minnesota Extension.
The commission accepted the updated scope of work minus the $1,420.00 fee to study the historic jail with Commissioner Severson casting the lone no vote.
Commissioner Johnson reminded fellow commissioners that $50,000.00 in ARPA funds have been allocated for this project. Therefore, they will need to decide where the remaining balance of $11,710.00 will come from.
Volunteer Deb Wray with the Houston County Historical Society appeared before the Commission to ask for clarification on the Space Utilization Study as it pertains to the Historic Jail. Wray wondered if the Design Group would be presenting floor plans as part of their deliverables, if so, she said, “I was thinking that another $1,400 would not be very much for another option.”
In other business, the board:
•Accepted the resignation of Hana El-Afandi, child protection social worker, as of November 16, 2022;
•Approved Personnel Director Tess Kruger’s request to begin a search for a child protection social worker.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:46 a.m.
The next regularly scheduled Houston County Commission meeting is Tuesday, November 22, at 9 a.m. in the County Commission Board Room 222, located on the second floor in the historic county courthouse, Caledonia, or via the county conference call line (312) 626-6700 enter ID: 994-7297-7175 and password 368422. Public attendees are requested to mute their line until addressed.