When they met Thursday, members of the Leavenworth County Commission were briefed on a couple of snags that have developed in plans to demolish the old county jail.

When they met Thursday, members of the Leavenworth County Commission were briefed on a couple of snags that have developed in plans to demolish the old county jail.

One of issues concerned art deco panels, which were removed from the building later in the day. The other issue concerns cables and equipment belonging to a phone company.

The former jail, located at 503 S. Third St., has been closed for 13 years. The Leavenworth County Jail is now located at the Justice Center, which is next door.

County officials have contracted to have the old jail demolished and a parking lot constructed on the site.

The former jail building reportedly was constructed in 1939 as a Works Progress Administration project.

When meeting with commissioners Thursday morning, John Forslund, the county's director of buildings and grounds, said the plans and specifications for the demolition had been silent about the removal of three art deco blocks above the main door to the old jail building.

He presented budget figures for a change order for having the panels removed for preservation. The figures totaled $3,742.

"Why are we taking these out?" Commission Chairman Bob Holland asked.

He asked who had requested the panels.

County Counselor David Van Parys later said the issue came up with the Leavenworth City Commission when county officials were seeking a demolition permit from the city. He said there was discussion about the county trying to preserve the art deco panels.

But at the time, county officials didn't know how much removing them for preservation would cost, and they didn't know it could cause a potential delay in the project, Van Parys said.

He said officials also have been unable to identify a use for the art deco panels.

Commissioner Dennis Bixby suggested taking up the issue again when the Commission meets Tuesday. He said this could allow a few days for people who want to save the panels to come forward with money.

But Thursday afternoon, workers for contractor Kaaz Construction removed the art deco panels, leaving them intact for preservation.

It wasn't clear who will pay for this work.

"We'll sort it all out Tuesday," Van Parys said Thursday afternoon.

Also Thursday morning, Forslund briefed commissioners on a situation he said just arose with the phone company AT&T. He said the company has two cables that run underground between the Leavenworth County Courthouse and the old jail. One of them is said to be hooked up to four active telephone lines.

He said an employee for the company has said it will take two to four weeks to take carry out a project to deal with the lines.

Forslund said four weeks means it would be October before the former jail building could be razed.

He said the county could proceed with tearing down most of the building, leaving an area around a communications closet intact until the AT&T situation is resolved.

Forslund and Public Works Director Mike Spickelmier said AT&T has indicated it owns property in the communications closet.

Van Parys recommended proceeding with demolition of the building but preserving the AT&T equipment and getting with someone at the phone company to take away the equipment.

Commissioners unanimously approved such action.