Chamber to Join City Hall in Move to Old Courthouse

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 at 12:33 pm

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Pine City hall will officially move into the old courthouse facility on March 8th, but now, the Chamber of Commerce offices are expected to move, as well.

The Pine County board approved a resolution Tuesday that allows the city to lease space in the first floor of the courthouse to the chamber, which currently offices at Pine Technical College.  Pine City Administrator Don Howard told the county board that the because of  increased enrollment at Pine Tech, the college needs the extra space.

“The actual arrangements would be the same thing they are doing with Pine Tech,” said Howard. “What their lease agreement  is with [Pine Tech] would just move over.  We’d supply phone and all the aspects that Pine Tech supplied them.”

Howard said the chamber will likely occupy the old recorders office in the facility.

“I think [the chamber’s] whole purpose is to try to locate downtown Pine City to a very active spot,” said Howard.

The city is leasing the courthouse from Pine County for $35,000 a year.  The current city hall will be used for the expansion of the Pine City Library. The city will use only the first floor for city hall.

The bottom floor of the courthouse will be used for storage.  County Coordinator Mark LeBrun says the county wants to leave the top floor open to lease for profit in the future.

“The way we have the agreement set up, we will be looking at the cost to have the city in the building over time,” said LeBrun.  “I think it’s a partnership and it’s the first time we’ve done this and we will work through it.  It’s gone very well, so far.”

Prior to the lease agreement between the city and county, there was discussion regarding possibly tearing the building down.  Now, it appears the building might be strapped for space.

“It’s turned into an assest and it’s a good deal for the city but I think there is space in there that we are certainly going to be able to use if we need to and there are going to be other entities that want to lease space in there,” said LeBrun.  “The biggest problem I see now is ‘will we have enough space?’ ”

Commissioner Steve Hallan asked Howard if the city could make room on the first floor for the Historical Society.  Howard said the city is still reserving space for a fire hall and is in the process of securing funds for the project.

“To be honest, we are probably very limited in the excess space we have,” said Howard.  “We pretty much have utilized most of the space.”

LeBrun added, “The building is going to be full at some point, with somebody.  It’s just a matter of how do we want to divide up the space and how do we want to use it, which is a miracle if you think about where we were two, three years ago.”

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