COOK - A large group turned out to support the opening of the new St. Louis County Government Services Center and the David M. Skelton Transportation Building, in Cook, on Tuesday, Oct. 15. …
COOK - A large group turned out to support the opening of the new St. Louis County Government Services Center and the David M. Skelton Transportation Building, in Cook, on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Commissioner Keith Nelson opened the event by welcoming everyone before turning the microphone over to Commissioner Paul McDonald.
“Wow, is all I can say,” McDonald stated, looking around the new facility. He then spoke about the services that the new building will bring to the area and praised it as the “best public works facility north of St. Paul.”
State Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, and state Rep. Robert Ecklund, DFL-I-Falls, also spoke at the event. They both thanked the hardworking men and women who helped get the project done, as well as public employees who will now conduct their business at the new facility. Bakk touched briefly on the role Rep. Tom Rukavina played in getting the project off the ground.
Former County Commissioner Mike Forsman spoke next, praising both the appearance of the building and the decision to name the building after his mentor, David Skelton, a long-time county public works supervisor. “It’s an absolutely gorgeous building.”
Public Works Director James Foldesi then gave a brief rundown of the project. He said the Ashawa Road was an ideal location for the facility, which combines the Linden Grove and Cook facilities into one. According to Foldesi, combining the facilities will better serve the communities by improving efficiency, opening up commercial property, and helping keep employees healthy and safe.
Feldosi then introduced the man of the hour, Dave Skelton, stating, “His leadership is still having an impact on how the county does business today.’
Skelton thanked everyone for their support, saying it was “truly an honor, to say the least.”
The county board then presented Skelton with a framed copy of the resolution that had given the new building its name, as well as a sign bearing the official name. Skelton unfurled a banner to make it all official before turning the microphone over to the Chair of the Transportation Committee, Commissioner Mike Jugovich.
The event wrapped up with a ribbon cutting performed by McDonald, Jugovich, Foldesi, Forsman, and Skelton.
The Government Services Center and David M. Skelton Transportation Building were originally set to open sometime in 2020 but were completed ahead of schedule. The facility sits on a 60-acre site and holds offices for employees from several departments, including Public Health and Human Services, and Land and Minerals. The transportation building itself is an 82,000 square-foot building that will be used for vehicle storage and mechanics. It houses 28 public works employees, who cover nearly 2,000 square miles of service area. The entire facility cost $24 million to complete.