• Joint Powers Board approves first full-year budget for shared facility
BROOKINGS – Shared expenses was a key reason for the City of Brookings and Brookings County to join forces to build a new government center, and Thursday morning city and county officials learned just what those expenses will be.
The Joint Powers Board gave its approval to a 2013 operating expense budget for the shared facility, totaling approximately $350,000.
The itemized budget will still require approval by the full county commission and city council.
Of the two government bodies, Brookings County was a major winner in the budget calculations: its share of expenses will be about $182,000, but that’s only $5,500 more than the county had been paying for leases and operating expenses at the various locations housing county staff.
For the City of Brookings, councilors will have to come up with $168,000 in “new money” to pay for government center expenses. That’s because the city will continue to operate a remodeled city hall building as the Brookings Public Safety Center. Expenses for the renovated building should be comparable to what it cost to maintain city hall in years past.
The largest expense for the city/county administrative building will be for electricity and water, about $80,000. Other big-ticket items include heat, $61,250; cleaning services, $70,800; and service contracts, $69,000. Telephone service will cost about $31,000.
Commission Assistant Stephanie Ellwein points out that the county will see significant savings in some of its costs, as will the city, resulting from improvements in technology and building construction.
The projected operating expense for 2014 is just under $347,000, slightly less than next year’s budget.
Brookings County as the senior partner in the new building – it occupies slightly more floor space – will pay for 52 percent of operating expenses, and the city will pay for 48 percent.
Although minor work is ongoing, city and county staffers moved into the $14 million, 70,000-square-foot administrative center last month.
Contact Ken Curley at kcurley@-brookingsregister.com.