Sales tax increase needed to upgrade aging courthouse
BENTON, IL -
It may look nice from the outside, but leaders say it's what's inside the Franklin County courthouse that's a problem.
Franklin County Commissioners want to increase the sales tax by a quarter of a percent, which translates to $500,000 a year, to renovate the aging structure which has been the hub of the community for 140 years.
"I think any reasonable person will tell you that we're proud of this building being here," said Commissioner David Rea.
While the outside of the Franklin County Courthouse is still beautiful, Commissioner Rey says the building is hiding its true warts on the inside.
"It's settling that's my main concern,” said Rea. “There's very little if any insulation in a lot of that building. Everything has been punched, and gouged, an used, and you just run out of options. That's our problem."
If the referendum passes updates will be made to the aging facility, and offices would be moved to other county buildings.
"It's about served its purpose,” said Rea. “It was adequate for 100 plus years, but it wasn't built for today's traffic there's no two ways about that. It's not our intention to do away with this building, it's to try and preserve it."
The tax increase has been approved by the county commissioners, and will now be left up to the voters on the April ballot.