New Facility - FAQ

New Facility - FAQ

Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services - New Headquarters Facility in Albert Lea 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

 

Why does Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services (FMCS) need a new facility?

  • Since the current headquarters was built in 1950, the cooperative has nearly quadrupled it's membership and doubled its staff, primarily due to the acquisition of Alliant Energy's service territory in Southern MN.  
  • The current headquarters building was built decades before this tremendous growth.  No one at that time could have foreseen current membership levels or staffing levels and operational, safe and secure space needed for our employees and to serve our members.
  • Expanding the current headquarters was not an option due to limited availability of land space. 
  • This decision was a long process.  The Board of Directors worked closely with staff over the past few years to review all of the options available to FMCS.  At the conclusion of this review process, the directors voted to proceed with construction of a new headquarters as the best and most cost-effective option for the cooperative's needs.

When will construction begin?

  • Planning and design work for the new building is underway.  Ground breaking will be in the spring of 2020 as weather permits.  The project will take about a year from start to finish.  FMCS will keep you up to date on ground breaking and any changes related to the new facility. 

Where will the new facility be built? 

  • In Bancroft Township, just off of Freeborn County Highway 22, north of Albert Lea.  The site is in close proximity to water, sewer, fiber optic and natural gas services.  It also provides good access to major transportation routes within the cooperative’s service territory.

How large is the new site? 

  • 25.67 acres.  

What is the cost of the new building? 

  • Roughly $20 million.  This includes furnishings and technology installation.

What will happen to the existing headquarters? 

  • It will be sold.  

What will be the size of the new headquarters?

  • The total size will be approximately 97,900 sq. ft.  It will be a single-story structure with 27,450 sq. ft. of office and meeting areas as compared to the existing 18,000 sq. ft.

Will Freeborn- Mower Cooperative members and local subcontractors have an opportunity to participate in the project? 

  • Yes.  Freeborn-Mower is interested in ensuring that member and local subcontractors have an opportunity to perform work on the project. To that, we will host a public information session for member and local subcontractors in early February, to review the plans and provide additional information. We will also include a submittal form for local subcontractors on the construction information web page to ensure that members and local subcontractors receive an invitation to bid along with bidding instructions.

What impact will the new facility construction have on my electric rates?

  • As has always been the case, the cost of cooperative facilities is worked into the service charge component of the electric rate.  However, revenue received from the sale of our existing headquarters will be applied toward the new construction costs.  The facility will be paid for over time.  Therefore, any impact on electric rates will be minimized and incremental.

How long has Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services been part of the Albert Lea community?

  • The cooperative has been located in Albert Lea since its founding in 1936.  It has operated from its current headquarters at East Main Street since 1950.

How can I learn more about this project in the future? 

  • A dedicated page will be updated on this website (https://www.fmcs.coop/ ) to provide additional information about the project before construction begins and during the construction process. The web page will include general information about the project, information for subcontractors interested in performing work on the project, and regular updates on progress as the project occurs. Members can expect monthly progress updates including drone videos showing the construction as it takes place, so check back often.