Jones county B.O.S approve to look at grants to keep Ellisville courthouse

JONES COUNTY, Miss. - The Jones county Board of Supervisors approved the county to look at grants that will maintain services of the Ellisville courthouse Monday morning.

Ellisville lawyer and citizen, Grant Hedgepeth said the courthouse holds a lot of history.

"Before Laurel was even a logging camp, Ellisville was the courthouse for Jones county" said Hedgepeth. He added, "There is no reason to close that courthouse, we need to serve the people."

Jones county Grant Writer, Lance Chancellor said the county will apply to grants that the courthouse qualifies under.

"Ask for everything you want, ad take everything you can get, and in that process you have to make sure you apply to everything as possible" said Chancellor.

Board President Jerome Wyatt understands the significance of keeping the historic courthouse, but said money is a valid concern.

"They would need to be restored to grandeur that is used to have" said Wyatt. He added, "We need to have those monies at hand, before we even begin a project like that."

Wyatt continued, "You know the long term vale in this, is that its good to have a historic building, but the point is, can you afford it?"

Supporters of the courthouse said it only needs superficial touch-ups. "I do not think it is going to be terribly bad, it does not appear the place is any trouble structurally" said Hedgepeth.

Hedgepeth continued, "Its cosmetic, plastic, paint, a new air conditioning system."

The Ellisville courthouse is a huge economic driver. "Not to mention the cost to the economy in Ellisville, it is a major draw to the town, when people come into town they spend money" added Hedgepeth.

"Our big thing is to maintain history, to protect history, and to provide services to the people of the first district" said Hedgepeth.

Wyatt said the board will have a professional look at the total estimate of the courthouse.

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