Ogle County will soon own another piece of property near its judicial center.
The county board voted 20-4 Tuesday to authorize board chairman Kim Gouker, Byron, to sign documents to purchase the house at 102 S. Fifth St., Oregon, for $99,500, and to enter into a three-year lease with the current occupant.
The purchase of the house has been a long time in the making.
"It's a piece of property we've looked at ever since we built the judicial center," Gouker said.
The judicial center, which is next door to the house to the south, was completed in 2005.
The county board purchased the property north of the house, where Jackass BBQ is located at 501 W. Washington St. (Ill. 64), last June from John Spoor for $150,000.
The county leases that property to restaurant owner Andy Riegel.
The board will purchase the house from Scott and Barb Spoor, and lease it to Robert Lowe, who currently has a law practice there.
Lowe has a contract to buy the house from the Spoors for $89,500 but is willing to forego the purchase if he can rent it from the county, Gouker said.
Lowe will pay the county $300 a month rent for the property, pay the real estate taxes, and take care of maintenance, Gouker said.
Gouker said an appraiser hired by the county valued the house at $89,500.
Board member Lyle Hopkins, Polo, voiced his opposition to the purchase price.
"If it was appraised at $89,500, I don't think we should offer one penny more," he said.
Board member Greg Sparrow, Rochelle, disagreed.
"If we were buying it just for a house I would agree with you," he said. "It's a vital piece of property for the further expansion of the judicial center."
Gouker said the Spoors were originally asking $129,000 for the house. He said the $300 rent Lowe will pay over the next three years will make up the $10,000 difference between the appraisal and the purchase price.
Hopkins cast a no vote, along with board members Skip Kenney, Rochelle, Lee Meyers, Byron, and Pat Saunders, Polo.
Voting yes were Gouker, Sparrow, Dorothy Bowers, Byron, Jerry Brooks, Oregon, Bobbie Colbert, Rochelle, Ron Colson, Mt. Morris, John Finfrock, Mt. Morris, Don Griffin, Oregon, Rich Gronewold, Forreston, Marcia Heuer, Oregon, Dan Janes, Stillman Valley, Kim Kirkolis, Davis Junction, Bruce McKinney, Rochelle, Pat Nordman, Oregon, John O'Brien, Rochelle, Zach Oltmanns, Davis Junction, Dick Petrizzo, Davis Junction, Ashley Simms, Rochelle, Marty Typer, Stillman Valley, And Bill Welty, Chana.