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Dunn County has taken its first step in moving county offices from downtown Menomonie to the Community Services Building on the city’s east side.

The county Executive Committee gave the green light to county staff Wednesday to develop a campus plan, which will shape the future of county-owned land on the north side of Highway 12/29. The campus spans The Neighbors of Dunn County, the Judicial Center and Highway Department property, county administrator Paul Miller said.

“This is an eye toward coming up with a unified plan … to build a campus identity, so as people travel up and down (Highway) 12/29 here, they’ll know this is Dunn County,” Miller said.

The plan will be a road map to develop and design the future campus, said zoning administrator Bob Colson. County staff and the Facilities Committee will develop ideas for landscaping, topography, design and infrastructure of the campus — and build in a plan for future expansion.

The plan also will suggest bicycle or pedestrian trails connecting county buildings, which would link with existing city bicycle trails in the area, Colson said.

Supervisor Charles Maves expressed concern about the potential cost of the project: “I’m all for it and it’s a great plan, but we need to remember: dollars.”

Creating the plan will not cost the county additional money, and the county board may discuss funding for possible upgrades when the plan is complete, Miller said.

The Dunn County Board voted in July 2018 to sell the Government Center on Wilson Avenue and move its offices to vacant space in the Community Services Building, 3001 Hwy. 12, Menomonie.

Repairs to heating, ventilation, plumbing, wiring, air conditioning, the roof and the elevator in the Government Center would cost $3.8 million, Maves said in July.

The building’s market value was estimated at $660,000, according to News records.

As for the Community Services Building, extending the vacant spaces in one wing and the upper floor is expected to cost $3.7 million.

The Menomonie City Council signaled in July 2018 its intent to keep city offices at — and possibly buy — the Government Center, but since then has not taken formal action on the matter.

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