County could pay $20K for Human Services redesign

Published 4:44 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The county could face a fork in the road when it comes to redesigning Human Services.

On Tuesday, the county board agreed to pay its estimated $19,000 to $20,000 share of the next round of redesign studies, which is expected to cost about $510,000. About $255,000 of the funding will come from a Bush Foundation Grant. The rest of the cost will be split among the 12 southeastern Minnesota counties researching redesign based on population.

County Coordinator Craig Oscarson said this phase should give the board enough information to decide whether to move forward with redesign or look to other methods.

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“It takes money to find some answers,” Oscarson said.

Human Service Director Julie Stevermer said the work will focus on a business plan, a feasibility report and other structure.

The other 11 counties still need to approve their portion of the redesign, but Commissioner Ray Tucker said he believes they will.

“This is kind of a landmark move with redesign, and there’s a lot of outside places looking at us,” Tucker said.

The county board voted to continue its involvement in studies to streamline Human Services.

The discussions could lead to merging services, though Oscarson said such a move is at least two to three years away.