A proposed relocation agreement to make way for the Crow Wing County building plan is coming in with a higher price tag than expected.
Commissioners tabled any decision on the proposal until the full board was present. Commissioners Terry Sluss and Ed Larsen were absent Tuesday.
At issue is the proposed cost of $97,650 to move Matt Mallie's office. Mallie, a private attorney, is currently located in the office building located along Laurel Street just west of the courthouse. Mallie leases space there along with City Attorney Tom Fitzpatrick, who also has his law firm in the building. Building owners are Craig and Clare Williams.
County Attorney Don Ryan told commissioners the amount to move Mallie's office was more than he expected. But after researching the issue Ryan said he found legal obligations involved in a government-forced relocation of a business through eminent domain. Compensation costs include relocation of Mallie's security system and computer network, costs for letterhead, signs and changed advertising along with the fee to change the address at the Secretary of State's office.
Mallie and Fitzpatrick are expected to vacate the building by the end of May. The county expects to take ownership on April 5.
In a cost breakdown, Ryan said $59,450 is for reconstruction of the office. Mallie is refurbishing a home into an office setting. Another $20,000 is for relocation and moving costs, including the phones, security system and computer network with $13,200 for an outstanding note for the current office and $7,000 for relocation services. The county has already paid $30,000 to Mallie, giving him money to begin reconstruction. Mallie is expected to move out by mid-April. Ryan said he was willing to absorb $1,450 out of his budget to pay Mallie's rent for one month so the space could be vacated at that early date.
Commissioner Gary Walters noted the original appraisal for Mallie's office was for $30,000. But Ryan said that did not include any relocation costs. There is a $26,000 appraisal for Fitzpatrick's offices. The county has not worked out an agreement with Fitzpatrick at this time.
Commissioner Dewey Tautges said it was a lot of money for the relocation of one office. Commissioner John Ferrari moved to table action until all commissioners could be present.
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