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Paulding County plans to demolish historic jail PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 02, 2013 1:18 PM

PAULDING — Another historic building in Paulding is slated to hit the ground as county commissioners have taken steps toward demolishing the old jail building on South Williams Street.

The jail was built in 1876 and operated continuously until a new facility opened in 2007. The building has been empty for the past five years, used only for county storage.

Plans call for it to be demolished as soon as mid-January using the county engineer’s department’s employees.

A spokesman from the commissioner’s office said that the decision to tear down the jail was mutually agreed upon by the commissioners. No vote was taken.

The project has been in the works for over a year to determine what to do with the old jail. The commissioners decided it was more cost-effective to demolish it. Also, Commissioner Tony Zartman indicated that the commissioners had been trying to sell the old jail and that no one had expressed an interest in buying it.

Zartman also said that the former jail was a liability to the county and they did not want another building experience such as the old Hotel Barnes, which was destroyed in a fire in January.

“We have already had the building checked for asbestos and it was clear,” noted Zartman.

The asbestos study was done in February 2012 by HazCorp, a Toledo-based company.

HazCorp took samples of various materials and determined there was no asbestos in their sampling. The piping in the basement, which houses the mechanical systems and pipes, was determined to be of another material; the report said that is was quite possible that abatement was performed in the past to remove any asbestos.

“We have already met with the Paulding County engineer about handling the demolition for us. This will save the county and general fund money by using the engineer’s office,” Zartman said.

County Engineer Travis McGarvey confirmed that he had met with the commissioners and it was something his department would do; however, he does not have a certain time frame as to when they would begin.

“It is possible that we could get started on the demolition by the middle of January,” Zartman reported. “It depends a lot on the weather. Last year we had a mild winter. If we have another winter like that, there won’t be a lot of snow to plow and the employees can be working on the jail.”

Zartman also added that tearing down the jail would save the taxpayers money as the jail was an added expense to the county.
According to reports, the county pays approximately $1,000 per year for electricity and the cost to mow the property is $500. Insurance costs were not immediately available.

Because the project is still in the planning stages, there is no cost estimate available on leveling the structure.

Funding for the demolition will be taken out of the general fund, the same fund used to pay insurance and for the upkeep.

Zartman concluded that in addition to being an added expense, it is a potential safety hazard. Zartman said they do not want any groups or individuals going into the building for tours or to remove anything because they did not want anyone to get hurt.

The John Paulding Historical Society was contacted to see if they wanted anything from the old building before it was demolished. Les Weidenhamer of the historical society said that the group would like at least one of the ornate lentils on the structure.

He said that he would like to take materials from the front doorway and make a type of memorial and list all the names of the Paulding sheriffs.

Plans for the property, once cleared, is to sell it with the hope that the land will be used commercially and attract a new business.


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