From the Desk of: Commission committees share workload

Minnehaha County Commissioner Gerald Beninga
Minnehaha County continues collecting additional data to plan for renovation and construction projects for the Administration building, Extension building, Highway department, and Juvenile Detention Center. Each of the Commissioners have been assigned specific projects to spread out the workload.
The Highway facility includes site selection, touring facilities, and work on concept design over the last two months. Commissioner Karsky and I are taking an active role each step of the process. The County and architects are working with a Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) to assist in refining cost estimates prior to bonding. Utilizing the CMAR process allows the county to obtain a guaranteed maximum price for the project. This will save taxpayers money and limit the potential for rising costs once the project breaks ground.
Renovations to the County Administration building and Extension building are in the process of selecting an architect. The Administration building remodel will optimize space for future growth for a handful of departments and consolidate the state’s attorney’s offices onto one floor. This will provide a more secure environment that functions more effectively.
Metro Communications, overseen by the Metro Communications Council, is comprised of County Commissioners, Sioux Falls Mayor, and Sioux Falls City Councilors. The City of Sioux Falls is building a new public safety training center. The opportunity arose for a new Metro Communications facility to be constructed as part of that process and will provide much needed additional space as Minnehaha County and the City of Sioux Falls continue to grow. The current Metro Communications space will serve as an alternate severe weather location and back up. The County Commission approved $2.15 million in financial support of the project. Dollars allocated will be used to purchase furniture, fixtures, and equipment for Metro Communications. The County’s portion of Metro Communications’ operating expenses is 25 percent and the City of Sioux Falls is 75 percent.
I would also like to share a brief update on the County’s budget process for the upcoming fiscal year. By the time this article is published, the County Commission will have approved the FY 2021 budget. The FY 21 provisional budget was approved in July. The provisional budget does not utilize any additional opt out. Two positions were shifted from grant funding to ongoing permanent funding. Two new positions were created (one jail and one public defender). All aforementioned positions are limited to public safety roles in the Provisional budget. 


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