Mt. Vernon Register-News

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July 30, 2013

Board weary of renovations

(Continued)

Further, the officeholders state, "Also concerning to us is the board's proposal to use the revenues of the county's public safety tax to help fund this endeavor. As others have noted, a promise was made to the taxpayers of this county that those proceeds would be used exclusively to pay for the debt service of the Justice Center. This provides yet another reason to take this matter to the people of this county."

In conclusion, the officeholders asked the board to reconsider its decision.

"It is our hope that you as a Board will listen to the concerns expressed in this letter and those presented by members of the public in the coming days and will reconsider your proposal. We would appreciate a response to these concerns and would welcome the opportunity to discuss the matter further should you so desire. Thank you for your consideration."

On a 12-1 vote — with Jeremy Hall voting in opposition — the Board accepted a recommendation from the Public Safety Committee allowing M360 to begin Phase I of courthouse renovations. The estimated cost of the project is $4.66 million.

At the time of the vote, Hall said he voted against the proposal because, "It's too much, too soon." He added, "I can't answer to the people who were laid off, and can't justify spending that kind of money until we find out where we're going to get it." Since the vote was taken, board member Jim Laird has gone on record joining Hall in opposition to the project.

White has scheduled a public meeting for 3 p.m. Aug. 12 to receive comments regarding the courthouse project. The scheduled four-hour meeting will be held at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building.

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