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Baraga Cty. offices re-open in new space

September 11, 2012
By STEPHEN ANDERSON - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

L'ANSE - The Baraga County Administrative Building, previously L'Anse Pharmacy, opened its doors for business Monday morning in downtown L'Anse after three intense days of moving offices from the Baraga County Courthouse.

"We are up and running. We have a few bugs to work out, but everything was ready for operation this morning," county clerk Wendy Goodreau said after Monday's regular Baraga County Board of Commissioners meeting. "I think people overall have been very pleased with this project."

The clerk/register of deeds, treasury, equalization, Michigan State University Extension and 911 director offices are now open in the downtown facility, but the county veterans affairs office announced Friday it would keep its office at the American Legion Post 144 on the other side of town.

Article Photos

Stephen Anderson/Daily Mining Gazette
New offices at the Baraga County Administrative Building in downtown L’Anse, seen here Monday evening, opened Monday morning after moving from the Baraga County Courthouse last week and over the weekend.

"It's an awesome building," said equalization director Lora Osterman during Monday's board meeting. Osterman's office has three times the space as the previous office in the courthouse annex, she said.

There are still three open spaces in the building, one which will likely become a conference room. Goodreau is seeking occupants for the other spaces, including possible state agencies that could help secure grant funding for projects through collaboration.

Records storage is one of the primary benefits to the new facility, as records that were overflowing into the courthouse hallways are now stored in a designated space with much easier accessibility. More records will be moved to the building soon from external storage.

"I think we should compliment and give kudos to our staff up here for the effort they put forth into moving their offices from up here to down there," board chair Mike Koskinen said during Monday's meeting. "They worked hard last week and over the weekend."

The county will be setting up an open house at a later date for the public to tour the facility, but offices are open now.

In other news from Monday's meeting, the county board:

heard from temporary county 911 director and board member Bill Menge during the commissioner comment period the 911 committee has decided to renew a five-year contract with Negaunee Regional Dispatch for 911 service in the county. The board will have to formally approve the contract at another meeting.

accepted bids for liability insurance (Hannula Agency), public defender (David Gemignani) and snow removal (Kaikko Construction).

accepted a $2,219 bid from Otis Elevator Company to fix the courthouse elevator. Previously a state inspector had quoted more than $10,000 for the repairs, as announced at the Aug. 13 board meeting, but the board asked Goodreau to seek another quote, saving the county more than $8,000.

approved an annual maintenance agreement with Sayen's Business Equipment for copy machines in the courthouse and new downtown office building.

declined a funding request from the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team based on a recommendation from county sheriff Bob Teddy.

approved resolutions supporting an Upper Peninsula Integrated Care Model, and supporting the Peninsula Fiber Network as the county's primary 911 service provider.



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