Foundation offers to buy jail in Paxton

Foundation offers to buy jail in Paxton

PAXTON — The nonprofit Paxton Foundation has offered to buy the 19th-century jail and sheriff's residence on the courthouse square and pay for the building's renovation and upkeep.

And Ford County Board members asked the group to submit a formal written proposal by Feb. 1 for further consideration.

The county board just three weeks earlier had made plans to tear down the 1871 Italianate-style brick sheriff's residence and attached stone jail if no viable use for the building could be found.

The board is particularly concerned about the continued deterioration of the county-owned building, which has not been used for 20 years.

"The building is not (structurally) secure now; it's deteriorating; it's a liability and an eyesore," said the board's chairman, Rick Bowen of Elliott.

The Paxton Foundation, a group dedicated to preserving Paxton's past, has not determined how it would use the building if it were purchased from the county, although possible uses mentioned Monday included a museum, office space for the foundation's headquarters, or a bed-and-breakfast.

The foundation's president, Royce Baier, said saving the structure is the main concern at this point. He said that ideas for its use would be explored further as the long-term renovation of the building is completed in the next several years.

Comments embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments