Douglas County commissioners approved a study to assess county space needs, existing facilities and long-range planning at the Tuesday, Jan. 21, regular board meeting.

Chairman Keith Englund made the motion for approval of the study at a cost of $9,800.

“I want to do this,” Englund said. “We’ve been in trouble before because people think we don’t know what we’re doing.”

The outcome of the study is expected to provide commissioners with factual data in the following areas in order to assist them in discussing future county building improvements and projects:

  • The 22 existing departments within the county – what areas (departments) will see possible growth and what the current needs are for each department.

  • The expected useful life of the existing facilities as each building is being used today, including the current physical needs, if any, of each building.

  • Outline that includes concept plans, probable cost estimates and timeline for alternatives for the potential use of the former First Lutheran Church property at 822 Douglas St.; the potential use of two gymnasiums currently being used by School District 206, which took over Lakes Area Recreation; and for other potential planning concepts, such as a green site.

The study will be done by Buetow 2 Architects, Inc., of Minneapolis. Representatives from the company will meet with the commissioners, building committee members and Douglas County staff.

In addition, they will document the existing square footage of each of the departments and do interviews and walkthroughs with the appropriate staff from each department to gather the necessary information needed to complete the study.

The study is expected to take about two and a half months.

In other action

Commissioners also approved the following items:

  • Labor agreement between the county and the license bureau.

  • Soliciting bids for the Douglas County Courthouse boiler replacement.

  • Donation from Granite Electronics, Inc. in the amount of $100 to be used for fitness center at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

  • Donation from the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association in the amount of $250 to be used for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Honor Guard.

  • Donation of two firearms from Mark Perry – an APF long-range precision rifle valued at $4,500 and a Smith and Wesson MP 223 caliber rifle valued at $2,500.

  • Donation of $5,000 from Lakes Area Law Dogs to be used for partial purchase of K-9 Hunter for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

  • Cooperative agreement with Moe Township for the county to provide snow and ice control on Andes Road south of County Road 107, and that the township will pay the county on a per-time basis.

  • A five-year county highway improvement program plan.The plan lays out possible road improvement projects for 2020 through 2024.

  • A six-foot wide by 105-foot long floating fishing pier at Lake Brophy County Park in the amount of $47,450.

  • Joint powers agreement with the Chippewa River Watershed Association.

  • Payment to West Central Initiative Foundation for Douglas County Water Quality Legacy projects in the amount of $12,127. The projects, which were also funded by other sources, included a stormwater and sediment reduction project on Lake Ida and wetland restorations to manage water and sediment into Smith Lake.

  • Donation to the Douglas County Veteran Services Office from VFW Post 936 in the amount of $200 for food and gas vouchers.

  • Resolution for a voter equipment grant application to purchase replacement voting equipment. The total cost of the equipment is $145,600. The grant is for $72,800 with matching funds in the same amount coming from the county.

  • Sale of county-owned property by Krueger’s Creek. The county will be going through the required process, which includes advertising for bids for the property, notifying adjacent land owners, opening the bids, allowing bidders to raise their bid and then selling to the highest bidder.

  • Contract with Sourcewell for family child care licensing.

  • Memorandum of understanding between Douglas County Housing and Redevelopment Authority and Kindred Family Focus.