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USDA offices to move into single location

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by Melissa Wilson

SBJ Staff

The three local branch agencies of the United States Department of Agriculture will appropriately relocate to farm country Feb. 16, according to Wyman Miller, county executive director.

The Consolidated Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Rural Development Office will be housed together in a 9,533-square-foot building at 688 S. State Hwy. B, north of the Brookline exit off Interstate 44.

"We're all sister agencies, and the folks in Washington have determined that our locations in Greene County do not conform to service-center concepts because every local branch USDA office should all be in one location together," Miller said.

Larry Jones owns the State Highway B property and was in charge of selecting the contractor, Springfield Builders Inc. The architect is Don Ness, of Ness Architects.

"Being a federal agency, we had to go through a competitive bidding process, and the first time we went through it, we received no acceptable bids, so we had to go through the process a second time. We evaluated the bids, and made a contract with the new building owner, Larry Jones. It was up to him to put the package together," Miller said.

The Farm Service Agency and the Rural Development Office have been at their location at 3003 E. Chestnut Expwy. since 1968, as has the county office of the Natural Resource Conservation Service at 3003 E. Trafficway.

The area office of the Natural Resource Conservation Service, 1339-H E. Republic Road, has been at its location since 1989.

"Being a farm-related service center, the idea is to be located in an area that is easily accessible to the farm sector, which basically mandates that it's going to be on the outskirts of town, easily accessible for stock trailers, that type of thing," Miller said.

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