Hall County Courthouse Troubles

Architect Arthur Weinman
Architect Arthur Weinman

A possible solution to make the Hall County Courthouse safe is being proposed.

Overloaded fuse boxes, electrical wires sticking out of the walls and bats  living in the attic are all problems that make the Hall County Courthouse a threat to public health and safety. But the architect who the commission hired to look into making repairs says he has a solution to meet the short term needs.

"We can get the bats out and get the electrical brought up so it's not an imminent danger in about two months." said Architect Arthur Weinman.

Weiman says the county can use an emergency state grant to make the immediate repairs. It was recently awarded a grant from Texas Historical Commission. But in order to make the building completely safe the commission is looking at 6 million plus dollars in costs.

"This is a difficult decision for the county because we have to dig into our revenue. What we got in Hall County is a little short on oil and gas that help revenue come into the county." Hall County Commissioner Buddy Logsdon said.

If the commission approves the six million dollar renovation, they will have to match the state grant with 900,000 dollars. Money they say is on reserve for the project. But if the project exceeds that amount they may have to raise taxes.

"Well of course there's concerns about taxes, no one likes to pay higher taxes, but sometimes it's necessary to do that in the community." Memphis resident Debra Helm said.

The commissioner says he's leaning towards approving funds for the immediate repair and long term renovation. Commissioners are expected to decide  on the issue March 13th.