Pottawatomie County is grappling with what to do with its courthouse and hopes to chart a course within a year.
County officials hosted a crowd of nearly 100 people in Westmoreland Thursday night to tour the courthouse — the second oldest one in the state — and hear what may be next for it.
Peter Clark, the public works director for the county, told KMAN Thursday one of those options would be to raze the structure and start over with a new building.
Clark said Clint Hibbs of BG Consultants shared a completed financial study on the options of razing the courthouse verse restoration. The study says restoring the courthouse to modern code and standards would cost the county $3.6 million over 20 years.
A new building, however, would cost $2.6 million over the same span — including destruction of the current courthouse.
Still, Clark said many citizens want to see the existing courthouse stay.
“There appears to be a large sentiment, from at least the 100 people who were there, that they would like to see the courthouse remain,” he said. “There has not been identified a funding source hasn’t been identified to assist us with preserving the courthouse, or conserving it in its current condition. I think that would go a long ways in helping making a decision one way or the other.”
Clark said space is an issue and that future growth — Pottawatomie County already being the fastest-growing county in the state — puts even more pressure on the issue.
Some citizens said they wanted to put the decision up to a vote, Clark said, but added a vote might not be binding to whatever direction the county commission goes.
The post Pottawatomie County exploring options for aging courthouse appeared first on News Radio KMAN.
Source: KMAN Local News