The $51 million price tag paid would be for buildings in move-in condition, including office furniture and demolition costs.
The bonding plan approved Tuesday is designed to pay the majority of the construction costs and will create a larger county government campus in downtown Brainerd with options for future expansions.
The money pays for a new jail, new judicial center, new community services building and new heating plant. Construction of the judicial center and jail, which had options for future expansions, and parking is planned on the north side of Laurel Street basically across from the current courthouse.
The highway department will move out of the city, possibly to a site near the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport. Several sites are being considered. The plan postpones a new Law Enforcement Center, proposed with the new jail, until a future date.
The existing historic courthouse will be remodeled along with the Service Building (called the County Administration Annex in the future campus setting). The current LEC will be maintained.
Additional construction costs to complete the master building plan, including a new LEC is expected to cost an additional $7 million to $9 million. Commissioners stated they hope that spending may be done in the future without bonding.
Public comments on the plan were sought at a number of hearings.
County officials noted the prediction for the county's population to double in the next two decades as a driving need behind the project. The county had 449 employees in 2003 and it is estimated that it will have 738 employees in 2025, which excludes jail employees.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.