Making history

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Residents of Scott County have a number of reasons to be proud of the three-year renovation of the historic Scott County Courthouse.

First is the renovation itself, which replaced electrical wiring, removed asbestos, installed central heat and air conditioning and improved the quality of the workplace for county employees. It also provided a long-needed upgrade for a building on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also a matter of pride is that the county paid for most of the $1.3 million itself, using money freed up by a half-cent sales tax passed by county voters in 2000 to build a new jail. The tax will expire in 2008.

The renovation addressed problems with the 84-year-old courthouse that had not received attention for many years, principally because of the high cost of doing something about them. County employees did the design work and were consulted on the changes.

The county isn't finished. An archive facility is needed to store the boxes of documents currently stored on shelves throughout the building. County commissioners are expected to ask voters to renew the half-cent sales tax to build that facility.

Both the renovation and plans for the archive acknowledge the importance of conserving both buildings and artifacts for future generations.

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