The Courthouse has served as the location for property and public services in Yellow Medicine County for over a century, but on Monday all that will change when Yellow Medicine County’s new Government Center opens for business.
“I like it I think it’s going to be nice,” said Property and Public Services Director Janel Timm. “It’s a little different atmosphere than we’re used to. It’s a little more condensed, which is good because [the service departments] were so spread out with the three windows at the courthouse.
Housing the Finance and Administration as well as Property and Public Service Departments, it is hoped that the new layout of the government center, when taken in conjunction with extensive department reorganization of the past few years, will facilitate efficiencies and improve public services by providing a One-Stop-Shop for constituents.
“There won’t be any question of which window to stop at. They’ll come to the one service counter and receive all the help they need.”
Built in 1974, the new government center building originally housed the Yellow Medicine County Bank but more recently served as Fagen Engineering offices. This past fall  the county purchased the 8,635 square foot structure for $450,000 in order to relieve long-running space constraints.
The county elected to hire Earl Fuechtman, of Contegrity Group, of Little Falls, to serve as project manager and John McNamara, of Wold Architects in St. Paul as project manager. In May, the board approved  $564,000 in construction bids that came in within $2,000 of Contegrity’s estimates.
The entire cost of the project is expected to come in at approximately $1.1 million when taking into account the building’s purchase price, construction bids as well as architectural and construction fees and other costs. According to project contractors it would have cost $2.8 million to have built a like structure new.
Originally, it was hoped that the county would be in by November, but minor project delays pushed the date back till this month.
Law enforcement, judicial and social related services will continue to operate out of the courthouse. In addition, the county’s Restorative Justice Department, County IT Department and County Attorney’s Office will all come to occupy the newly vacated spaces over the course of the next year.  
The county board meetings will also be conducted at the government center.