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County Board approves purchase of McKenna building to store evidence
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The Langlade County Board added a master’s-level social worker and purchased the former McKenna beer distributing complex at an evening meeting Tuesday.

The session moved through the evening quickly handling the social worker and property purchase with dispatch.

The Langlade County Sheriff’s Department has been using temporary measures to house its evidence for a number of years as it sought solutions to the problem. The McKenna property, idled for more than a decade when the beer distributing firm was consolidated to a new site in Merrill, has been offered for sale.

Corporation Counsel Robin Stowe told the board that the building has been appraised for $279,000, and the county could own it for $115,000. The building does need work but the facilities manager Nate Heuss estimates that all of the projects, including the roof, can be completed for $80,000. That still beats the cost of a new structure, Stowe told the supervisors.

One portion of the structure was constructed in 1955 and the second, 1980. The building can provide secure storage for sheriff’s evidence and allow moving of the automobiles and other vehicles being held for evidence into a locked structure. They are currently being housed at the county’s Highway Department in a fenced area, which has been breached.

With two supervisors excused, the vote was 18-1 with Michael Klimoski opposed.

The second, and only other resolution on the agenda, to hire a master’s-level social worker was approved unanimously.

Kim Van Hoof, a spokesman for the Department of Social Services, and Stowe explained the need for the specialized employees as demands from clients increase.

Stowe and Van Hoof explained that the new employee would be able to work with special situations including troubled young people who are being treated at facilities away from the county.

Van Hoof said the aim is to bring some of these young people back home and away from residential facilities more quickly.

A number of the supervisors spoke in support of the action.

The cost of the position from July to December is $23,732 for wages and $12,354 for fringe benefits. In 2015 the price goes to a total of $85,663 with wages at $51,266 and fringe benefits, $34,397.

The consent agenda was also approved quickly.

It called for the board to reappointment of members for the Zoning Board of Adjustment for James Sieckert and William Livingston and a position as an alternative for Anthony Koss.

Also approved was the sale of a piece of property in the town of Summit to Carl Drexler $56,503.

One zoning amendment was also passed for Alan Heistad for a parcel of land in the town of Wolf River for agricultural purposes. 

It came to the meeting with approval suggested by the Water and Land Use Planning Committee.

Ronn Krueger was thanked for his service to the fairgrounds’ promotional committee.


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The McKenna building, which served as a beer distribution site for decades.
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