The old Paxton jail is part of the county's history. Now it's falling apart and the board can't afford to fix it.
It might be demolished. The jail was built in the late 1800's.
It's been vacant for years. Now it needs some major repairs, and without help from the community it won't be standing for much longer.
"It's either going to fall down or we're going to have to tear it down." Tom McQuinn said.
Tom Mcquinn grew up in Paxton and has been on the ford county board for 4 years. Now the old jail is on the agenda.
"It's been brought up again that we really need to do something." McQuinn said.
That's because the 141-year-old building is falling apart, literally.
"Boards that have fallen from right there that just happened here in the last week or so. You can see a hole in the very front. We can't have it falling down and hitting people when they're walking on the sidewalk and it's getting to that point." McQuinn said.
Why not tear it down?
"I'd hate to see that happen." Carolyn Jensen said.
Carolyn Jensen lives nearby. She says the old jail is a lot more then just an old building.
"I think it's important for our children to see those things. I think it'd be nice to tour through there, let the kids see and have the history on it. It's a part of what we are, and how things used to be compared to how it's run now." Jensen said.
Board members, including Mcquinn would love to keep it open but there's one big problem standing in their way.
"The county just plain doesn't have the money to put in it." McQuinn said.
The board would have to meet all of the building codes and make everything wheel-chair accessible.
Mcquinn says that alone would cost millions.
"A private individual wouldn't have to do that." McQuinn said.
Jensen says she's willing to put money into the old jail and hopes her community will rally behind her.
"We need to keep a lot of the things in our past that we get rid of now. We need them." Jensen said.