Instead of spending more than $2 million to immediately move 272 employees out of the Nathan Mayo Building, which houses the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, lawmakers decided to put $1 million toward studying a replacement for the 85-year-old structure.
In its initial budget, the House included $2.1 million for the Department of Management Services to bid for office space to house employees while a new building is constructed. But in negotiations with the Senate, which didn’t include that provision in its initial budget, the plan was converted to use $1 million for a study “for the planning, design, and engineering of a new department facility located at the Conner Complex.”
The Conner Complex includes another Agriculture Department building about 4 miles east of the state Capitol.
“The study shall evaluate moving employees from current leased facilities and the Mayo Building, to a new energy-efficient facility at the Conner Complex located in Tallahassee,” the final budget states.
After passing its initial budget, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Chris Sprowls, a Palm Harbor Republican, pointed to the building’s age, chronic leaks, “structural deficiencies” and electrical problems that lead to costly repairs, including a $3.4 million request for a new exterior waterproof coating system.
Notably, the current Agricultural Commissioner, Nikki Fried, is running for Governor and won’t be in charge of the department after Jan. 3. Senate President Wilton Simpson, a Trilby Republican, is running to replace Fried.
Last month, a Fried spokeswoman said she wasn’t opposed to a new building to replace the Mayo building, but said FDACS, not DMS, should be in charge of the project.
David T. Hawkins
March 19, 2022 at 9:05 pm
“lawmakers decided to put $1 million toward studying a replacement for the 85-year-old structure.”
“$1 million for a study “for the planning, design, and engineering of a new department facility located at the Conner Complex.”” Which already houses Agriculture Department…….. WTH.
Why are you doing a Study for any of this? Just have FDACS decide what they need and put out a Bid for the needed Space. Let the Land Lords come to THEM. No Study needed.
March 19, 2022 at 10:07 pm
Really it is not about arigcultrure it is a move and support them
March 19, 2022 at 10:08 pm
But it is funny that everything is in jeaperty and they are still running a muck
March 20, 2022 at 9:59 am
I can’t imagine that ACS could do a better job than the State’s agency that builds and leases properties, DMS. If she is saying that DMS doesn’t do a good job, than fix DMS. I think she’s concerned that politics will result in ACS getting new offices in a strip mall. DMS knows how to procure, lease, manage and build, let them.
March 21, 2022 at 2:38 pm
Have to agree with Gary H. on this one. This is part of the core competency and mission of DMS – what they exist to do. The state should not reinvent the wheel in an agency silo. Not sure what Fried is worried about, because no one in charge of this kind of work at DMS wants to punish ACS (or any state) employees by putting them in a lousy working environment.
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