Lawmakers studying potential sale of Job Service-North Dakota headquarters building

Jan 8, 2018

Job Service-North Dakota state headquarters building.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

An interim Legislative committee is looking at what to do with the building that houses Job Service-North Dakota’s state headquarters in Bismarck.

It’s part of a larger study having to do with Job Service offices in Fargo, Rolla and Minot, as well as the regional Job Service office in Bismarck.

One suggestion is to move the staff from the state headquarters buliding to the regional office in Bismarck.

"We're talking about the need for space, and the amount of money allocated," said Rep. Scott Louser (R-Minot), chairman of the Legislature's interim Government Administration Committee. "We're trying to determine how much office space per employee is necessary, versus what the public expects."

Louser said because Job Service receives federal funds, the Committee will look at the federal regulations on leases, repurposing and potential sale of the building.

Louser said the space needs for government agencies has been a long-term discussion by Legislators. State government leases a lot of space in Bismarck from private individuals and companies.

"I've always struggled with that," Louser said. "That's my background."

Louser has been involved with real estate in Minot.

"What's the best use of taxpayer dollars?" Louser said. "In some cases, it's better to own the building, and in others, it's better to rent. There is no one solution."

The committee will get more information from Job Service about the value of the building, as well as space needs, at its February meeting.