Former Winnebago County Law Enforcement Center

The former Winnebago County Law Enforcement Center building.

The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors tabled the discussion on the possible demolition of the former law enforcement center (LEC) during their weekly meeting on Tuesday, April 16.

According to county engineer Scott Meinders, when the last asbestos inspection for the LEC was done in 2013 it only covered the parts of the building that were not being used, so they didn’t inspect the jail cells or the floor with all the offices.

As a result, Meinders will have an update on the asbestos inspection done by Impact7G for the whole building for $1,500.

“That will give us a list of all the asbestos-containing materials and the square footage and that kind of thing,” Meinders said. “We can then forward that on to asbestos removal companies for quotes, and then we’ll have a good number.”

Because Meinders does not have the asbestos report updated yet, he does not have any demolition costs, but he said he will try to get in the LEC for actual demolition costs.

However, with no cost numbers, the Supervisors cannot make an informed decision on what to do with the building.

“We can’t act anything on it until we have some costs,” Supervisor Chairman Terry Durby said. “It’s still being trying to sell; we have to make a decision one way or the other at some point until we have both sides of information.”

Meinders said he doesn’t think there are any other hazards in the building, such as fluids that need to be drained from boilers and other heating and cooling appliances and coaxial cables that need to be disconnected from the tower.

“Different things that need to be done before we can just slam a wrecking ball into it,” he said.

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Meinders said he will include a list of things that need to be done still in his estimate when he makes it.

In other action, the Supervisors rescinded their previous motion regarding the 90 percent, six-month probationary period for the Winnebago County Workmen’s Association secondary roads contract and approved the Secondary Road Workmen’s Association Contract at the discretion of the engineer’s office after checking with the Supervisors on the final draft.

Meinders said with previous motion of a 90 percent six-month probationary period into 100 percent pay, the newly hired workers would be making more than those who had been already working in the department for a year or more.

To resolve this, Meinders suggested removing the starting wage and to administer that at the staff level rather than the Supervisors’ level.

“I’d like to have the flexibility administratively to keep that in check and make sure the guys that have been here longer get paid at least the same or more as somebody who is just starting,” Meinders said.

Supervisor Mike Stensrud said he wasn’t comfortable leaving the starting wage up to the department head, however, because the secondary roads department has an association contract, which is unique from the other departments, whose heads determine the starting wage but which also doesn’t have an association workforce.

Meinders said to put the probationary period in the contract would be “tying our hands” and “unnecessary constraint.”

“I think as long as he comes to us with any changes I’ve got no problem with striking that paragraph [containing the probationary period],” Durby said.

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