Brookings, South Dakota
Brag a Little About Your Town
The City of Brookings, South Dakota (pop. 22,056) recently moved into a new City Hall in combination with a County administration building with Brookings County. The joint intergovernmental building will house administrative offices for both the City and County. This is the first city-county building combination in the State of South Dakota. The new joint building will save millions of dollars in operating expenses over the life the building by combining facilities. With regard to construction, the joint venture has already saved well over $2 million to city and county taxpayers compared to having both entities build their own respective facilities.
The joint effort resulted from the realization that both the City and County as governmental units were short of space, so we decided to join efforts to save resources. We developed an intergovernmental committee consisting of elected officials representing both the City and County to forge ahead with planning the joint facility. We just moved into the new building in June. Located on the edge of downtown, the building represents a reinvestment commitment to the Central Business District. It is also part of a "Walkable Civic Plaza" with the Courthouse, Art's Council, Senior Activity Center, City Library and the SD Children's Museum, all within two blocks. The 76,000 square feet, four floor building cost approximately $14 million. It houses 13 city and county departments and 63 employees. The new facility will allow the City to convert the old City Hall into an expanded public safety center for emergency services, the Police Department, and a fire station while also allowing Brookings County to remove administrative offices from the historic court house and renovate the court house exclusively for court services. Construction and operating expenses are split on a pro rata basis commensurate with square footage occupied by each entity.
It has already proven to be a win-win situation for all taxpayers of Brookings County and the City of Brookings. The days of intergovernmental turf battles are over and taxpayers can no longer afford the unnecessary duplication of services and facilities. This new facility will allow us to share meeting rooms, conference facilities, technology and all the other physical amenities of a consolidated building. In addition, it will help pave the way for future consolidation of taxpayer services.
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