Walthall, Miss. (WCBI) -As Webster County officials press forward with plans to replace their courthouse destroyed by fire January 17, 2013, they are preparing to allow county residents to have somewhat of an input in the decision making process.
For over a year now the burned out structure of the Webster County Courthouse has been boarded up. In the meantime county officials have been scrambling, trying to provide another building to replace the former structure that stood majestically for 100 years.
“You want to do what the majority of the people feel liken is most beneficial to them, and what better place to get their innermost feels than in a voting booth,” said Paul Crowley, Supervisor.
Thats why after that devastating blaze, the will of the people is being considered by way of whats called an advisory referendum vote. There are two options being placed before the people.
“Constructing a new modern courthouse out of you know bricks and mortar somewhere in the Village of Walthall; And of course the other option would be to restore or renovate the original courthouse,” said Crowley.
After the vote on the non-binding referendum, supervisors will still make their decision on the chosen option, meanwhile an insurance company is suing the county as the two parties haggle over a settlement amount.
“We are very optimistic as a board that we will have, we will have the funds to hopefully maybe go either direction,” said Crowley.
The idea is to build back a quality courthouse facility with whatever funds are available. So the boarded up burned out ruble will be renovated, or a new modern facility will go up somewhere within Walthall Village.
“Maybe get 50 to seventy-five maybe another 100 years out of this structure, so I mean it is a big decision. Long term decision for Webster County,” said Crowley.
On the day of the advisory referendum vote, voters will be voting in their usual precincts, except for those voting at the Walthall Courthouse Precinct; They’ll be voting right across the street at the Walthall Volunteer Fire Department.
The upcoming advisory referendum vote is set for April 8th.