MARINETTE — The removal of steel from the second floor of the former Marinette County Law Enforcement Center of what used to be the county jail is expected to resume next week after being halted a few weeks ago when a faulty fire alarm panel was discovered.

County Administrator John Lefebvre told the county board March 26 that the first phase of the planned renovation of the building on Ella Court Street that has been mostly empty for the past 15 years was at a standstill  because “a little over a week ago we had a fire alarm panel fail in that building” and the project could not resume until the panel was replaced.

“We could do no further demolition over there over there until that panel is replaced,” Facilities Director Marty Keyport told the county board’s Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday. “The new panel is enroute to me right now and it should be here tomorrow, I’m guessing Friday.

“The beautiful part of this is when we renovate that building, we’ll have a brand new firm alarm panel. So we’re just paying a little bit earlier than we planned on paying for it. Not a big deal.”

“We are scheduled for install (of the fire alarm panel) on the 16th (Tuesday), demolition will resume the following morning and will wrap up the following week. They’ve only got about a week of work left over there.”

Removal of the steel began in February. The county board at its Jan. 29 meeting voted to enter into an agreement with Henry Malke and Son of Peshtigo and A&P of WI of Sobieski to remove the steel detention equipment at a cost pf $24,675.

Lefebvre has said he envisions the former LEC being renovated to be used for current county departments such as the Child Support Agency with the next phase to be replacement of the roof and heating and air-conditioning systems.

The two contractors when they’re finished removing the steel from the second of floor of the LEC will move to the courthouse to remove former jail cells from the fourth floor, which is being renovated so that Information Services (IS) can be moved there from the basement level.

The Infrastructure Committee voted Wednesday to recommend to the county board that the county enter into an agreement with Henry Malke and Son and A&P of WI to remove steel detention equipment from the fourth floor at an additional cost of $200 per hour, not to exceed $10,000.

“We’re going to utilize that same crew to do some selective demolition on the fourth floor of the same nature,” Keyport explained. The fourth floor has been used in the past for storage and to house a print shop.

He said preparation of the fourth floor for IS has begun with one of the steps being department heads removing what they have stored inside the former cells.

“We’re doing a great cleanup up there,” Keyport said. “I’ll give a quick kudos to Kathy Brandt (county clerk). She had some items stored up there and before I knew it, she was out of there.

“To get the ball rolling with other departments, I can use that as an example and say this is what I want. We’re working with the DA and clerk of courts. From there, John and I will work with IS to get that area designed to get it up to the standards that they need.”