Dodge County offices move across the street
MANTORVILLE — Busy, blue-shirted movers from Schmidt Goodman Office Products Inc. moved furniture, computers, manuals, paper work, chairs — you name it — from the Dodge County courthouse annex into big trucks, which then trundled a short block across Minnesota Highway 57 to the new Government Services Building Friday and Saturday.
Which departments will be where and when?
The departments moving from the courthouse annex to the new Government Services Building include administration, finance, land records, information technology, maintenance, environmental services and economic development.
The entrance to the parking lot of the building is on the west side off Clay St.
Human services will move from the basement to the main floor of the annex. Veteran services, emergency management and drug court also will move from the basement to various areas.
All areas should be open for business Tuesday morning, said County Administrator Jim Elmquist.
The remodeling of the lower level of the courthouse is scheduled for a July 17 completion date. Then, human services and veterans' services will move back downstairs.
Phase three involves the remodeling of the main level of the annex, which includes the sheriff's office area, and is scheduled for completion Sept 18.
At this point, court staff -- including the public defender and victim services -- will move to the Government Services Building.
Phase four includes the remodeling of the historic courthouse and is scheduled for completion before Christmas. Court staff, drug court and victim services then will move back over to the courthouse.
The move has been a long time coming.
The county commissioners authorized the projects last spring, but the group rejected all submitted bids because the bids were so high. The project was rebid in the fall and the $8.2 bid from Alvin E. Benike Inc. of Rochester was selected.
Architect John McNamara, of Wold Architects of St. Paul, designed the renovations, which will result in better security for transporting prisoners and for the buildings.
The architects were charged with keeping the courthouse building's historic character but still strengthening security.
The building is the oldest working courthouse in the state.
The former Kasson-Mantorville Intermediate School became the Government Services Building and it has a big parking lot; something the county has needed for years. Now, employees and visitors to the county offices park all around the building and on nearby residential streets.
Last October, the county sold $9.9 million in general obligation capital improvement plan bonds to finance the projects.
The projects were the main contributing factor to a 9 percent increase in the property tax levy for county taxpayers authorized last year.
On Tuesday evening, the county commissioners will meet at 5 p.m. in the Government Services Building for their regular meeting.