The remodeling project of the former church building at 822 Douglas St. in Alexandria is forging ahead as the Douglas County commissioners awarded bids for several items, including flooring, painting, mechanical/plumbing, HVAC and more at the Tuesday, Dec. 15, board meeting.

There were 66 bids that came in for 14 different categories, according to Larry Filippi from Contegrity Group. Filippi is the vice president of the company and will be the project manager for the remodeling project.

“We were very happy with the numbers that came in,” he told the commissioners.

In addition to awarding the bids, the commissioners also approved a resolution for the sale of capital improvement plan bonds in an amount not to exceed $5.3 million, which will cover the cost of various capital improvements, including the remodeling of the building.

Moving forward, the former church building is now called the Douglas County Administration Building.

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Commissioner Heather Larson asked a question about the building, wondering how much money the county has spent to date regarding the building. Douglas County Auditor/Treasurer Char Rosenow didn’t have those numbers ready, but said she would get the information to Larson after she compiled it all.

“I just want to get a cohesive number to date,” Larson said.

Sincere appreciation

Gene Hauer and family were recognized during the meeting for the $1 million donation to the county that was used for the purchase of Pilgrim Point on Lake Ida.

The county purchased the property for $2 million with half of that money – $1 million – coming in the form of a cash donation from Hauer, who lives in the Twin Cities metro area. Hauer’s family, including his daughter and son-in-law, Jill and Mark Swanson who live on Lake Ida, owns Pilgrim Point Shores LLC. Pilgrim Point Shores purchased the rest of the Pilgrim Point land and is the group that will be developing the land. The group includes the Swansons, Hauer and his wife, Patty, along with Mark Hauer and Vickie and Steve Heller.

County Board Chairman Keith Englund thanked Hauer and his family and said the purchase of the property couldn’t have happened without the donation.

“We are very grateful for your donation,” Englund said.

Hauer was presented with a plaque that read, “With our sincere appreciation, we hereby thank Gene Hauer and family. Douglas County appreciates your generous donation, which will preserve Pilgrim Point for enjoyment by the public forever.”

Douglas County Board Chairman Keith Englund (left) honors Gene Hauer (far right) and family for the $1 million donation to help purchase a portion of land at Pilgrim Point. Hauer's family includes, left to right, Mark Swanson, Mark Hauer (face on a stick), Jill Swanson, Steve Heller, Vickie Heller and Patty Hauer. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)
Douglas County Board Chairman Keith Englund (left) honors Gene Hauer (far right) and family for the $1 million donation to help purchase a portion of land at Pilgrim Point. Hauer's family includes, left to right, Mark Swanson, Mark Hauer (face on a stick), Jill Swanson, Steve Heller, Vickie Heller and Patty Hauer. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)