Ogle County raises fee for video gambling terminals

Fee previously was $25 per machine

A Martin & Co. truck unloads gravel as workers fill in the basement of the old Ogle County Jail on Tuesday. Demolition of the 1969 jail started Dec. 5. See county board story on page 3 for more information.

OREGON – Ogle County upped its annual video gaming terminal fee to $150 during its Dec. 20 board meeting.

Ogle County Board members voted 17-4 to raise the fee. Board Chairman John Finfrock and board members Dan Miller, Joseph Simms and Stan Asp voted no.

“It was passed at committee awhile back, but never came before the board,” Finfrock said.

The Ogle County Liquor Control Commission recommended the $150 fee during its April 19 meeting.

The fee previously was $25 per terminal. A state law passed Dec. 17, 2021, allows the county to raise the fee to no more than $250 per machine per year.

The new fee set by the County Board applies only to establishments under the jurisdiction of Ogle County. The fee covers a fiscal year of May 1 through April 30.

ARPA economic grants OK’d

County Board members also approved the following economic development grants, which are funded from American Rescue Plan Act dollars received by the county:

  • The village of Forreston received $17,375 for an LED sign and HVAC upgrades to a new village hall building.
  • The Byron Fire Protection District got $23,000 for extrication equipment.
  • EMS-Emergency Operations Center was given $5,000 to cover lost revenue.

Old county jail demolition update

Demolition of the old county jail is “moving along very nicely,” said Don Griffin, Ogle County Board member and Long Range Planning chairman. The building has been completely removed, along with underground materials, and the space is being filled in.

“We hope to have that finished up at the end of the week,” Griffin said.

The Ogle County Board on Oct. 18 approved a bid of $98,000 to raze the building after receiving a total of eight bids for the project.

The cost of demolition will be paid for using American Rescue Plan Act monies; that expenditure also was approved by board members Oct. 18.

The jail was located at 107 S. Fifth St., just south of the historic Ogle County Courthouse that was built in 1891. The courthouse still houses several county offices. The new Ogle County Correctional Center, located west of the Ogle County Judicial Center, opened in November 2020.

The judicial center, in the 100 block of South Fifth Street west of the courthouse, houses courtrooms and county offices affiliated with the court system.

The current plan for the site is to add one row of parking stalls and sidewalks on the east side of the existing parking lot and leave the rest as greenspace.

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner reports on Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties for Shaw Media out of the Dixon office. Previously, she worked for the Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Michigan, and the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.