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Supervisors look at County Farm for possible county functions

A preliminary discussion centering around ongoing county space needs and re-purposing the old County Home building was held at the most recent Board of Supervisors regular meeting. Jerry Purdy, with Design Alliance, Inc., was asked to look at the old County Home and what county functions could fit inside of the 42,024 square-foot building.

In his presentation, he stated county functions including human services, planning and development, environmental health, community services, EMS, and archives could all be functions which could fit in the building.

Some interior renovations would be needed and could cost between $1-2 million. If the Supervisors would want to modernize the building including adding geothermal units it could cost another $1-2 million.

Some pros of occupying the building included the fact that the property is county-owned, the building is in good structural condition, and there is ample space to grow if needed. Cons included challenges from converting the residential facility to an office facility and is located outside the city limits.

The board made no recommendations and took no action on the item at this time.

Another item the board did address was a space needs request by Treasurer Darrell Bauman.

Bauman asked the board if he could work with Purdy on temporary space options for his department due to consistent overcrowding issues.

“Stations that do the level of card issuing that we do have about 3,000 square-feet,” he said. “We have 700 square-feet. We are just so crammed in there.

“We just want to get more space, not only for ourselves so we can operate more efficiently, but for our customers who are having to wait.”

Bauman stated two locations could be suitable for a temporary office including 121 North 9th St.,which is the Board of Supervisor’s offices, or a commercial building by Patrick’s Restaurant. Either office would double the current square footage of the Driver’s License Department, he said.

Bauman added his department is not seeing any less foot-traffic due to online renewals. Currently his department issues approximately 100 cards a day and by the end of Dec. 31 they had issued over 24,000 cards for the year 2013.

Supervisor Brad Golightly spoke on the subject and said he was interested in finding a permanent solution rather than spending funds for a temporary solution.

Bauman responded saying, “We’ve been going on about three years, and there’s always been something else. I’m not talking a million dollars for this, but around $50-70,000. In the scheme of things it would eliminate part of our problem now.”

Supervisor Kim Chapman agreed with Golightly stating, “The City (of Adel) and (Dallas) County are working together to find a plan to present to the public for another referendum vote which will hopefully come again this year.”

Bauman reiterated how he would like the board to consider the temporary options before the summer.

“We would like to get into a place before the summer rush because it gets so intense during that time,” he said. “We only have four full-time employees so when someone is gone it makes things a lot more difficult.”

The board declined Bauman’s request to examine other temporary options at this time.

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