|Old Paulding County Jail saved from demolition|
|Friday, March 22, 2013 11:47 AM|
The life of the old jail building seemed to be up back in December when the commissioners announced that they were giving up on the structure, saying it was too expensive to maintain and could be a liability for the county.
Plans were made to demolish the building in January. However, almost immediately, members of the community rallied to try to find a way to save the jail which was in use to incarcerate prisoners in the county from its opening in 1876 until 2007. Since that time, the building was used for storage.
Finally it was agreed to sell the building if a legitimate bidder could be found, so when bids were opened in February there was hope in the air for preservationists. However of the four bid envelopes turned in at that time, none were deemed acceptable. It turned out that one envelope contained nothing but a blank sheet of paper.
Next, the Paulding County Commissioners began the process of bidding once again, this time stipulating a March 20 opening date.
According to an article from Melinda Krick on the Paulding Progress website, four bids were received with each listing a bid amount and the intended use of the property. The bid from All Trades Historical Restoration, which was accepted on Wednesday, is to clean and repair the exterior and restore the building to its original appearance as best as possible, make the building the company’s office headquarters, remodel cell area into apartments for new tenants along with housing their employees, and rent office space.
In the event the bidder awarded does not close within 30 days, the building will be awarded to the second highest bidder, Rick Fortman of Defiance, for $7,777. Fortman wishes to use the jail for antiques and art, storing his personal collection as well as converting the jail into consignment booths for dealers of art and antiques. He would also restore the sheriff’s residence.
The other two bids were submitted by Kim McMichael of Cutler for $5,000 and from Vern and Tonya Sanderson of Broughton for $1,000. Both these bids mentioned office and possible residential space as planned uses.