APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) – The Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department could end up getting its first choice for a new building after all.
On Thursday, the county announced that J.F. Ahern — a Fond du Lac company — was no longer interested in the Goodland property site because it was too small for its customers’ needs. The company is now giving the county the opportunity to purchase the building, which is located in Appleton’s Northeast Business Park.
“Our continued expansion in the city of Appleton warrants looking for additional space now versus later,” said Ahern Executive Vice-President of Fabrication and Operations Tony Ahern in a statement to Action 2 News.
Outagamie Co. Board Chairman Jeff Nooyen added,”We had kept a dialogue open with Ahern from the get go. We got a call from them approximately a month ago saying they had some unexpected good news on their part, received a couple of significant large contracts.”
Sheriff’s officials originally wanted their new building on at the Goodland site because of its proximity to Interstate 41 and Highway 441. However, the proposal was ultimately nixed because of J.F. Ahern’s interest in the site.
Because of this, Outagamie County was in the process of approving a new sheriff’s department on a 20-acre parcel of land that sits on the corner of West Northland Avenue and Casaloma Drive. The county-owned property was their second choice for a new location. Now that their first choice is back on the table, county officials are expected to pursue making the Goodland site the location for a new sheriff’s department building.
Outagamie Co. Undersheriff Mike Jobe said,”The interior, the existence of the warehouse it was almost like when you walk into a new house and say I could move into her tomorrow kind of a thing.”
The move will include the patrol division, detectives, and sheriff administration, but not the jail and 9-1-1 center.
The change is likely to happen next spring, or summer– after a building remodel.
“I believe even with the slight modifications that have to be made it’s still going to save the tax payers four million dollars,” said Jobe.
The county board’s property/airport/economic development and public safety committees will review the purchase at a special joint meeting on Monday. Final approval would require both a vote of the county board of supervisors and the Appleton city council.