Historic Building Set to Be Demolished

By Stephanie Parkinson

January 13, 2013 Updated Jan 13, 2013 at 8:04 PM EDT

Paulding, Ohio (www.incnow.tv) - After almost 140 years a historic building, that was once the county jail, may be destroyed.

For the past 6 years the old Paulding County jail has been sitting vacant. Now the county says it's in the best interest of the community to tear it down but that isn't sitting well with some Paulding residents.

"Once it's gone, it's gone and they is no wishing it back," said Kim Sutton, John Paulding Historical Society.

"We're moving ahead with demolition plans, simply because it's not safe for the community," said Tony A. Zartman, Commissioner, Paulding County.

Built in 1876, it was Paulding County jail for decades but since 2007 has been sitting vacant. The county commissioners believe it's a liability and restoration isn't something they want to consider.

"It's not a wise use of taxpayer dollars in our opinion to throw money into this building," said Fred Pieper, Commissioner, Paulding County.

"This reminds us of our past, what our forefathers went through, where we came from, the dreams and aspirations that our county has, we don't want to see it destroyed,” said Sutton.

The building is slated for demolition and it could happen at any point but one phone call could postpone everything. Late Monday morning the county commissioners are expecting an offer from a potential buyer.

"He has the ability to maintain the building, and to bring it back up to where he needs to be, and that's very important to us,” said Zartman. ”Honestly I just want to see someone come in and make the building safe, and use it to better the community."

The county commissioners say they've been working for five years to figure out what to do with the building. Still Kim Sutton, with the local historical society, thinks more should be done.

"We would like them to take a little more time, make sure every effort has been exhausted,” said Sutton. "We understand that the commissioners are trying to be good stewards of our county assets. We also feel that the jail is a significant historical asset to our community. We just want to make sure every effort has been exhausted to find another use for this building."

The county commissioners said they've talked with many potential buyers, but the ones who wanted the building didn't have the funding to maintain it.

If the new deal from the potential buyer Monday is good the building may be saved, if not the county will continue to push forward with the demolition process.

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