RHINELANDER - The old WPS building near the Oneida County Courthouse will soon have a new owner.
The building has been bought by a Rhinelander company.
Newswatch 12 spoke with Oneida County's Land Information director about the decision.
The old WPS building on Davenport Street in downtown Rhinelander has been empty for at least three years.
But that will soon change.
The Oneida County Board voted unanimously to sell the former building for $185,000 this morning.
That's more than $360,000 less than they wanted.
The buyer, Midwest Lease, LLC, said he couldn't go over his offer.
"He did point out that he was nervous about the situation and felt that $185,000 that he was offering for the building is probably going to be the least expensive part of the entire plan for the building with the renovations he would have to do to it." said Oneida County Land Information director, Mike Romportl.
The board had another offer from Boyd Financial Services that they turned down in January.
Boyd offered to rent 40 percent of the space from the county.
That's if they agreed to remodel the building.
The Oneida County Land Information Director says they went with their second option because there was no strings attached.
"Mr Boyd did have one other option which he would have purchased the building and would have considered leasing it to somebody else," Romportl.
"But that was like number three; low priority. He preferred to lease it back to the county."
The sale is expected to close in 30 days.
We tried to reach out the new owners to see what they have planned for the building, but they were out of town.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to lift overseas ballot restrictions to avoid a legal battle.
The U.S. Department of Justice warned earlier this month that it's preparing to sue because Wisconsin law doesn't let temporary overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically or to submit downloadable back-up ballots in case they don't have time to return an official ballot.
Federal law allows all overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically and submit back-up ballots. Assembly Republicans passed a bill that would have aligned Wisconsin's statutes with the federal law but the measure died in April after Senate Republicans added language limiting special legislative elections.
MADISON - Wisconsin Elections Commission staff plan to hire a half-dozen new employees and upgrade software to bolster election security.
The commission received a $7 million federal grant in March to upgrade security after Russian actors tried to access a state Department of Workforce Development system before the 2016 election.
Staff told the commission Thursday that the Department of Administration has approved hiring six new four-year security positions, including an information technology project manager, an elections security trainer and a voting systems specialist.
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