Update on Clark County courthouse

A committee has voted to put the future of one of Missouri's Most Endangered Historic Buildings in the hands of voters.

That's what a Clark County committee decided at a public forum about the 137-year-old courthouse Tuesday night.

Four hundred signatures are needed before it goes on the November ballot.

You'll recall the courthouse is falling apart.

If enough signatures are secured, the committee will ask residents to add on to the courthouse.

That would require a half cent sales tax increase and possibly a five to ten percent real estate tax.

Presiding Commissioner Paul Allen says if the issue is not passed in November it will be placed on the following ballot.

Once the new building is complete, he says there will be a 6-month period for anybody to come forward with plans and money to renovate the old courthouse.

If that doesn't happen, he says the old courthouse would be torn down and turned into a parking lot.

A group of Clark County residents plan to hold a meeting later this month to educate the public about the courthouse, the issue and what other counties have done in similar situations.

You might recall Ralls County had a similar situation on its hands.

Its courthouse dates back to 18-58.

The county ended up spending more than a million dollars to restore the building.

Representatives from that county will be on hand to educate Clark County residents about their experience.

A representative from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources also will be on hand for the upcoming meeting.

Clark County resident Carla Derrick said, "We just feel people need more information and that is all this meeting is about. We are sympathetic to the commissioner's problem, and we will be glad to accept whatever decision the voters make but we feel more information needs to be out there."

That meeting is scheduled for June 25th at 7 p.m. at the Care building in Kahoka.