Sunday, January 26, 2020

Commissioners apparently disregard public opinion

We, the members of the Historic Preservation Commission of Stillwater County and Columbus, are disappointed in your decision to renovate the old hospital as county office space. In the 2015 meetings we attended there was little, if any, support for this option and overwhelming support for the preservation and renovation of the Stillwater County Courthouse.
At the public meetings the preponderance of opinion was against renovating the hospital – for good reasons. At the Columbus public meeting two local contractors stated the building was not a good candidate for renovation.
At the Columbus briefing, one of the attendees noted differences in the amount of space created by the various options. When asked about the discrepancies, Mr. Levine, Spectrum, responded that renovating the hospital would probably not meet current needs, and would definitely not accommodate future needs.
Please provide the following information by publishing in the Stillwater County News:
•The statement of need – The detailed requirements document for this project – What are the activities to be accommodated; how much space is required; with what capabilities? (I.e. vault space, temperature/humidity controlled space for archives, communication/electronic requirements, data processing requirements, etc.)
•The scope of work – The detailed description of the work to be done to renovate the hospital and courthouse buildings to meet the needs above. (I.e. roof repair, building envelope repair, interior demolition and reconstruction, new electrical service, new plumbing, foundation work, data processing infrastructure, street/parking reconstruction, etc.)
•The “business case” for this project – The detailed cost estimate to accomplish the work. What are the details for the $3.4 million? The business case should describe the detailed analysis of the various options and basis for the selection of the renovation as the preferred option.
•The renovation of the hospital has been ongoing for some time. Please provide the planning documents for this effort and a detailed accounting of the costs incurred.
•The detailed plans and cost estimates for renovation of the courthouse.
Publishing the requested information in the Stillwater County News will provide the transparency necessary for understanding a project of this magnitude.
It will also help resolve the disappointment in the apparent disregard for public opinion. Thank you for your prompt response.

Maurie Petterson
Chairman. Historic Preservation Commission