County Board approves $46 million bond sale

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 Administration • 100 North Fifth Avenue West, Room 202 • Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 726-2450 •

Kevin Z. Gray
County Administrator



January 9, 2018

CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager

218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)


St. Louis County Board approves bond sale for two new facilities

The St. Louis County Board has approved issuing up to $46 million in bonds to finance construction of two new buildings: the Government Services Center (GSC) North facility in Virginia, and a Public Works Maintenance Facility in Cook. The bonds would be offered on two different occasions, with $28 million being issued in February to finance the GSC North project,  as well as initial costs including site improvement and advance ordering for the Cook Maintenance Facility. It is anticipated that the second bond issuance would take place late this year to finance the remainder of the Cook project.


The GSC North Facility will serve as a centralized hub for people in Virginia and surrounding areas to access county services from more than 10 departments in one place. The two-story, 63,000 square building will replace the aging Northland Office Building. Ground breaking is expected to take place by early summer, with a goal completion  date of fall 2019. Approximately 180 employees will work in the building.


The Public Works Maintenance Facility in Cook comes following years of study, planning and negotiations. The project will include remodeling the existing Disability Specialist Building to be used for office space for Public Works, as well as several other county departments. Additionally the project will include constructing three new buildings on the 60-acre site: an 82,000 square foot heated building for vehicle storage and mechanic space, a 16,500 square foot cold storage building, and a 16,500 square foot structure for salt and sand storage. The project is expected to be completed by late fall of next year.


"The work and efforts of our staff have been nothing short of spectacular," said County Administrator Kevin Gray of the multi-year efforts to bring both projects to this point. "We have worked hard to get the best product that will be long lasting and low maintenance to serve our citizens well."

The Board also approved its five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which identifies priority projects from 2018-2022. The CIP includes 300 projects totaling an estimated $266 million. The majority of projects are road and bridge improvements, but also include projects such as the construction of the GSC North and Cook Maintenance Facility, as well as upgrades to the St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center (The Depot).


In each instance,the vote was unanimous, 6-0. Commissioner Frank Jewell was absent.


GSC rendering
Artist renderings show the planned new Government Services Center North facility planned in Virginia. The County Board approved a bond sale to cover construction costs.

Cook Public Works facility
This artist rendering shows the planned Public Works Maintenance Facility in Cook that will serve the northwest quarter of St. Louis County.