WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAU) - Wood County’s Board of Supervisors is continuing to examine what their staff and departments need for work space.
County Board Chairman Lance Pliml says the board discussed this issue Tuesday, along with the hiring of an architectural engineer to study adding on to the courthouse. “We had authorized the expenditure of up to $60,000 to bring in an engineer, an architectural engineer to see if some of the plans we had looked at are feasible, in other words, can you go up, out, down, what’s the best direction to go and can the existing structure handle it? We had some pushback there that people thought that maybe we should try to do a little more of that in-house.”
County business has changed over the years, and Pliml says some departments have been merged to make them more efficient. One example is combining Health and Human Services with Unified Health Services in one location under one director.He says that was the right thing to do, but they need more room.
Pliml says the county probably needs to move some departments to give them room to operate more efficiently. “Our thought is that we probably have adequate space located in different buildings we own around the county, but that people aren’t located necessarily where they need to be, so the first part of that is to look at available space, and some of that might exist for instance at our Norwood Health Facility where we have a fair amount of square footage that is under-utilized.”
The Chairman says the board is also looking at relocating some county offices currently in rented space. “We have been renting space in the Marshfield City Hall for about twenty years now, and we are going to pull those employees out of City Hall and move those into existing space that we have at Norwood and possibly some into the Rapids area.”
Pliml says they may not have enough total square footage after leaving rented space, and some of the facilities need to be looked at for modernization such as fiber optics and power outlets for computer operations.
He says the space issues are not an emergent need, but they will look at it over time to develop a plan and work to keep the tax levy down at the same time.