Reimbursements for DSS could top $1.1M over 45 years

Published 12:48 pm Friday, October 22, 2010

When its all said and done, Polk County may spend just $747,552 for a new department of social services (DSS) building, despite total costs estimated at $1.9M.

The lower cost is the result of reimbursements from the state and federal governments that are expected to add up to 61 percent of construction costs.

Some of the reimbursements will be done in $23,800 increments over the next 45 years.

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Costs of DSS services are paid through federal and state dollars as well as county dollars, depending on the service. Construction costs are also partly funded by state and federal monies.

Polk County is expecting to spend $1,914,052 on a new DSS building to be constructed on county owned recreation park acreage off Wolverine Trail in Mill Spring. Polk could be reimbursed $95,498 this fiscal year 61 percent of costs associated with professional services, including architect’s fees ($139,000), project management fees ($4,845), surveying costs ($4,200) and advertising/printing costs ($8,508).

Other costs are also reimbursed on a 61 percent basis, with some reimbursements coming annually over a 45-year period, or the expected life of the building.

Over the next 45 years, the county is expecting $23,800 annually in reimbursements, which will equate to $1,071,001 over the next 45 years. The total reimbursement, including the $95,498 the county should receive this year and the $23,000 annually, will mean the total cost of the building to the county 45 years from now could be $747,552.

Some residents and commissioners took issue with the reimbursement numbers this week, saying the county needs to look at the building as costing $2 million, or more than that including interest on a loan.

Polk approved a $2 million budget ordinance for the building earlier this year. With that budget, the county will have $85,948 left to spend on furniture, which some say is not enough. Other estimates have indicated that furniture will cost $150,000.

The county will also receive reimbursements on furniture, however, at a rate of 61 percent over seven years. If the county spends $85,948 to furnish the building, it could be reimbursed $52,444 over a seven year period, or $7,492 per year.

Other costs for the building are expected to come in, such as further cost for the project manager and advertising and printing.

The county this week approved the low bidder for the construction of the building as well as a resolution to seek financing. Grading has already begun on the project.