Massac County commissioners prepare for renovations - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Massac County commissioners prepare for renovations

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METROPOLIS -- For nearly a year in Massac County, judges, the office of the circuit clerk and state's attorney have been operating out of a temporary location.

Now with money in hand, county officials hope to get operations back to normal.

After failing twice to pass a one percent tax increase, the county board reluctantly borrowed nearly $2.5 million to pay for the necessary renovations to the 75-year-old building.

Jerel Childers, Massac County Commissioner Chairman, said had the tax increase passed, the County wouldn't have needed to make cuts to various departments to make the $192,000 per year payments.

"It would have been the best way to do it and not put us in a financial burden in any way, but it didn't pass," Childers said.

Even from the outside, there are signs that years haven't treated the aging courthouse very well.

However with a bid accepted and the contract signed, renovations can begin and get many of the county employees moved back into the courthouse.

It's a project Childers hopes will happen fairly quickly.

"About a year," Childers estimated, "Probably a little bit less hopefully, but we're thinking next year."

He said there's a lot of work that needs done, including fixing the roof, replacing windows and damage that's been done but the quicker it's behind them the better.

"I think we're ready for the challenge," he said, "So hopefully this time next year we'll be done with it and back in business."

Commissioners awarded the construction contract to Evrard-Strang Construction out of Marion. 

Currently, court proceedings are being held in the former Banterra Bank building several blocks away from the courthouse. 

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