The Winnebago County Courthouse has been undergoing a series of repairs involving tuckpointing and brick replacement. The repairs have become extensive due to weathering and the age of the brick. According to Winnebago County Auditor Karla Weiss, the project couldn’t wait any longer.
The board heard from Jeff Heil of Northland Securities who was called to the meeting to discuss possible bonding procedures to pay for the north and east sides of the courthouse repairs. Heil suggested that the board not go the bonding route because there was another financial resource the county could use to pay for the project.
The county can use the tax money derived from a tax imposed on the windmill farms in the county. The tax increment financing from the windmills has created a pool of money that the county can now use on projects that need to be addressed. This means that the county will not have to rely on increased taxes to property owners to pay for the courthouse repairs. The county will also not have to go into debt to cover the repairs on the courthouse. They will have to amend the current urban renewal plan in place.
The county is striving to maintain the original design and stone used in the construction of the facility which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Currently, the north and west sides are under tuckpointing and brick replacement work. The east side work is expected to get underway early next year.