The former Marinette County Jail on Ella Court Street basically has sat dormant for at least 15 years.

There have been rumblings from time-to-time about something being made of the building. There was thought the City of Marinette would be interested. But nothing ever materialized.

It looks like that’s about to change.

Led by Administrator John Lefebvre, the county is looking into possibly utilizing that space for itself.

We applaud Lefebvre for taking the initiative with this project. Frankly, the building has been a giant thorn in the county’s side. Some people have been critical of how the situation has been handled.

It’s easy to criticize and ask questions. Sometimes finding solutions and answers isn’t so easy.

The first step in the process, approved by the county board last month, is for the steel from the former jail cells to be removed. Two area companies have been hired for this job, which has a price tag of just under $25,000.

A side note, one person on social media asked if he could buy his old cell. We’re pretty sure it was a rhetorical question.

The county has budgeted $360,000 for the removal of the steel, along with the replacement of the roof and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

Once the steel has been removed, the plan is to hire an architect to start drawing plans to determine how much it would cost to relocate current county offices to the building.

Lefebvre, along with Facilities Director Marty Keyport, told the board they will get a better idea of what can be done with building once the steel is removed.

The first offices that would move, according to Lefebvre, are those currently housed in other locations that the county leases. He also mentioned the Child Support Office, which is cramped for space.

Lefebvre’s ultimate goal is improving courthouse security and making county offices more accessible to the public. It’s hard to argue with those hopes. He also wants to make the courthouse annex a judicial wing.

It seems there finally is a legitimate plan in place for putting the old jail building to use.