A new $5.4 million building for the La Plata County Assessor, Treasurer, and Clerk and Recorder’s offices was unanimously approved Tuesday by county commissioners.
The building will consolidate the three offices in a two-story, 14,389-square-foot space at 679 Turner Drive in Bodo Industrial Park to be called the “ACT building.”
Funds for the project were saved over a number of years for the purpose of paying for facility needs the county identified in a master plan in 2012, said La Plata County Manager Joanne Spina.
The move will take the Assessor’s Office out of the County Administration Building at 1101 East Second Ave. and the Treasurer’s Office out of the Old Main Post Office at 1060 Main Ave.
The project allows the county to move closer to its plan to sell the Old Main Post Office, Spina said. Staff from the county’s Internet Technology Department, the last department in the office, will be relocated to the La Plata County Courthouse.
And, it will mark the vacating of the last space the county leases, the Clerk and Recorder’s Office at 98 Everett St., which costs the county about $132,000 per year to rent.
The public will be better served with the consolidation of all three departments in one building, Spina said, with more parking and a more centralized location for residents.
“I really think this is a dynamic move for La Plata County,” said Commissioner Brad Blake. “The money has been set aside for a long time, and that’s one thing I want the public to know.”
La Plata County, in the early 2000s when revenues were high from a peak in the oil and gas industry, started saving money for needs the county anticipated in the future.
The ACT building is part of that long-term planning, Spina said.
The funds saved, she said, are for “capital” projects – i.e., one-time purchases – rather than sustaining needs, such as roads and bridges and the county’s operating budget.
“All of these moves we’ve made have been long-term thinking … and set us up for decades now,” Spina said.
Blake called it a “great thing” for La Plata County.
“The money has been set aside for this very purpose,” he said. “I feel like the sooner we can do it, the better, because it will never be cheaper to build a building than it is today.”
La Plata County commissioners approved a contract with Durango-based FCI Constructors for construction costs not to exceed an estimated $5.4 million. There are other costs associated with moving, Spina said.
The project will start mid-October and is expected to be complete August 2019, said Lee Gurule, assistant director of General Services.
Commissioners Blake and Gwen Lachelt voted in favor of the project. Commissioner Julie Westendorff was not in attendance.