By Ryan Spoehr - March 14th 2024



Rock County will explore selling its health care center, which is mostly vacant.

The Rock County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Thursday to instruct County Administrator Josh Smith to place the building, at 3530 County F in Janesville, on the market by June 30.

If the building were not sold, the county could have to spend $2.6 million on it through 2025. There was $1.2 million budgeted in 2024 for asbestos removal, but that was removed form the budget in favor of exploring alternatives.

The building was set to be demolished in 2025 at a cost of $1.4 million, but the board opted to try to sell it instead.

The resolution approved Thursday was co-authored by Janesville-area board members Jeremy Zajac and Kathy Schultz.

“What’s interesting to point out is that we could actually sell this for a negative bid. We could actually pay somebody $20,000 to take this building off our hands for us, and in doing so it would actually save us over $2 million by simply not having to deal with all the other associated costs. I think it makes total sense to at least explore the possibility,” Beloit-area board member Mike Zoril said.

In an administrative note, Smith wrote that he supported the spirit of the resolution and that he preferred to spend the $2.6 million elsewhere “if there was a higher and better use for the building.”

However, he cautioned that expectations for the market should be “tempered” because of previous evaluations. He also indicated that he and his staff “will do our best” to do what’s necessary to get the building listed by June 30.

The resolution instructs Smith to hire a property development consultant to identify necessary steps and an approximate cost to place the property for sale, including working with the city of Janesville on zoning, a comprehensive plan, a land division, application processes and compatibility uses. Smith told The Gazette on Tuesday that another resolution would be necessary to amend the budget for funds to pay the consultant.

Land division and a survey would be necessary because the health care center, the sheriff’s office and Rock Haven are all a part of one parcel.

Children’s museum

The board had been expected to consider whether to allocate $500,000 in COVID-19-era American Rescue Plan Act relief funds to the Rock County Children’s Museum capital campaign. Earlier on Thursday, the county board’s finance committee voted to table that resolution. Following the county board meeting, Smith said the proposed allocation is expected to come back up at the next county board meeting on March 28.

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