FOREST CITY | The Winnebago County Supervisors have given economic development officials more time to work on a plan to turn the former Law Enforcement Center into apartments.
The old LEC building has been vacant since the new Winnebago County Public Safety Center opened in 2017.
In August 2018, Beth Bilyeu, director of Forest City Economic Development, asked the county supervisors for permission to market the former LEC building to developers.
The building, which was completed in the 1930s, originally served as a hospital before being converted into a jail many years later.
Bilyeu told the supervisors the building is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, which would make it eligible for historic preservation funds.
The supervisors, who had been considering demolishing the building and turning the space into a parking lot, agreed to give economic development officials six months to market the building to developers.
The six-month deadline is rapidly approaching.
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Possible demolition of the building was on the agenda for the Jan. 29 Winnebago County Board of Supervisors meeting.
Supervisor Terry Durby suggested tabling a decision until the end of February.
He said it takes time to develop a marketing plan and economic development officials have already spent money to do so.
"I've not above tearing this thing down, but I want to make sure we aren't going to be undercutting something that's in the process that might benefit the community," Durby said.
"The Ghostbusters haven't been in there yet, either," said Supervisor Bill Jensvold, referring to Ministers of the Haunted, the paranormal group that wants to stay overnight in the building to see if there are spirits present.
"I'm not worried about that," Durby said.
In November the supervisors gave the Ministers of the Haunted permission for their overnight stakeout, but the paranormal group hasn't scheduled it yet.