At Tuesday's Yellow Medicine County board meeting commissioners were given the first of what will be monthly updates regarding the progress of the future county government center.
This past week a pre-construction meeting was held, paving the way for electrical, window and roof contractors to begin renovating the 8,635 square foot former Fagen Engineering building into a one-stop-shop government center where the public will be able to receive services relating to land records, property assessment, taxation, elections, vital statistics and licenses other than drivers and motor vehicles.
"I have been doing this for many years, and this was the first pre-construction meeting where we had two commissioners, the County Administrator, Finance Director and Facilities Director, so it seems that there is a lot of enthusiasm about the project, which is great," said Project Manager Earl Fuechtman of the Contegrity Group, of Little Falls.
Built in 1974, the building originally housed the Yellow Medicine County Bank but most recently served as Fagen Engineering offices. This past fall the county purchased the structure for $450,000 in order to relieve long-running space constraints.
Including the building's purchase price, the entire cost of the project is expected to come in at approximately $1.1 million, roughly $300,000 higher than the original forecast presented to the board by former YMC Administrator Ryan Krosch.
The county is hoping to be moved into the new space by Christmas.
In other news:
•On the heels of RaeAnn Keeler-Aus's internal hire into the position of Family Services Director, commissioners approved an internal replacement hire of Melissa Helgeson for Keeler-Aus's former position as the county's Adult Family Services Supervisor. Formerly an adult services social worker, Helgeson will move from a grade 19, step 12 to a grade 23, step 7, good for a .90 cent per year increase (or roughly $3,000).
Other position shuffling was also in the works as commissioners approved the hire of Stephanie Olson as an adult services social worker––a lateral move without a pay change given her role as a child social worker prior.
In addition, the board also voted to hire a new children's mental health and child protection social worker as well as a property and public service deputy/finance and administration deputy, after voting to approve the hiring committee's recommendation to terminate the present holder of the position during the probationary period.
•Commissioners ap-proved a $3,487 contract with Anseeuw Construction in Canby to repair rafters in the judging building on the county fairground damaged by snow.