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Stevens Point decides against land-swap with Portage County

PORTAGE COUNTY (WAOW) — Discussions between Portage County and Stevens Point have halted after a decision from the Stevens Point City Council on Monday night.

Because of an outdated building, the county has been looking to relocate their jail and courthouse to a different facility. The City of Stevens Point said their city hall is in need of updates. So, the city had proposed the county taking over land east of County Road R, and the city would move into the Portage County Annex building. But that option is now off the table.

“The problems we’ve had still exist and it doesn’t get any cheaper to fix them, so what we’re going to have to do is continue on our respective paths hoping we can find solutions,” said Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza about moving forward with finding and upgrading facilities.

Over the last few months the community has expressed concern about moving a government building away from downtown. Some concerns included inconvenience as well as taking away business from the downtown area.

However, the decision doesn’t stop the county from buying private land elsewhere in the city.

The county does own land in downtown that could potentially be used for the new jail and court, but the price tag would be near $100,000 to convert the existing building. Officials say the land-swap could have saved money for both the county and the city.

Sarah McGrew

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