OREGON – Ogle County will soon own another piece of property near its judicial center.
The county board voted 20-4 this week to authorize board chairman Kim Gouker of Byron to sign documents to buy the house at 102 S. Fifth St. in Oregon for $99,500 and to enter into a 3-year lease with the current occupant.
The deal has been a long time in the making. The county wanted the property in case it expanded its operations in the future.
“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 board bought the property north of the house, where Jackass BBQ is, at 501 W. Washington St. (state Route 64) last June from John Spoor for $150,000.
The county leases that property to restaurant owner Andy Riegel.
The board will buy the house from Scott and Barb Spoor and lease it to Robert Lowe, who has a law practice there.
Lowe has a contract to buy the house from the Spoors for $89,500 but is willing to forgo 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 of Polo opposed the purchase price.
“If it was appraised at $89,500,” he said. “I don’t think we should offer one penny more.”
Board member Greg Sparrow of 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 3 years will make up the $10,000 difference between the appraisal and the purchase price.