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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission reconsiders plan to raze former jail building

Updated: Feb 9, 2023

MOUND CITY – At the Linn County Commission meeting on Monday, Feb. 6, as discussion turned to shutting off utilities at the old sheriff’s office, the commissioners changed course and decided to have the building evaluated by a qualified inspector for occupancy.

Sheriff Kevin Friend had come to the commission to report that the sheriff’s department was moved out of that building and asked that the electrical service at 107 S. Fourth St. be transferred to another budget because the electric bill was costing the sheriff’s office $400 to $500 per month. The commissioners agreed to move it to the county’s courthouse budget.

Friend said that he had taken a final reading on the water service and had it turned off and had the temperature turned down to 55 degrees. He said he believed that there was still some Information Technology (IT) equipment in the building.

He said that he had sent out a memo to all the county offices that the building would be open that day from 1 to 3 p.m. if there was any office equipment, shelving or other items they would like to use.

The commissioners approved a motion to have Friend distribute any items left in the building after the employees have taken what they need as he sees fit. The items will be listed on a surplus property resolution.

While talking about publishing a request for proposal to have the building demolished, Commission Chair Danny McCullough talked about having salvage companies come in to recycle some of the metal off the building.

McCullough said there was a lot of metal in the trusses in that building.

Commissioner Jason Hightower said that was the reason why he was questioning demolishing that building, He thought it would cost the county a considerable amount of money to build something like it in the future.

McCullough said that he was not in favor of keeping it. He thought it would cost the county more to keep it.

Hightower said that he thought it would be prudent to have someone inspect the building to see what it would take to keep the building. Before long, the county will be wanting more space, he added.

Friend said that he was not in favor of demolishing the 8,000-square-foot. building. He said he thought it was very useable and did not know why the county would not put it to another use.

Friend told the commissioners that, while he was no expert, he believed that the mold problem had been mitigated. He said that the commissioners should check to make sure that it met all life and safety hazards before the county decided to keep it.

Friend said in his estimation, he had offered other plans for the building and he felt that they seem to fall on deaf ears.

He said he thought it could be used for safe storage, especially in the cells, office space or even a workshop for the maintenance department. There are five well-maintained HVAC units on the roof of the building.

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