Courthouse project may be cut

Published 10:05 am Wednesday, August 5, 2015

BURLINGTON — With fundraising slower than needed, the project to recreate the original Burlington Courthouse may be cut back.

Right now the 501c3 bicentennial committee created to fundraise for the project has $15,000 in the bank with $6,000 in pledges for the project expected to cost close to $250,000.

Its goal is to replicate the county’s first courthouse as part of the upcoming bicentennial celebration in 2016 to be used as a community building.

Part of that money will come from approximately $100,000 from Community Development Block Grant that will cover the cost of sidewalks and the parking lot.

The original plan was to replicate the courthouse with a larger addition at the rear of the building to be rented out for social functions.

Now because of inadequate funding the plan is to build the original structure and add the annex later.

“Scaling down is the best option rather than waiting,” said county commissioner Bill Pratt, who chairs the bicentennial committee. “If we get $50,000 or $60,000, we may be able to complete the original structure. That could still serve the purpose.”

The CDBG funds will be available in October.

“We will get the parking lot done in late fall or early winter,” Pratt said.

The goal is to have the structure completed in the fall of 2016. Burlington was the site of the courthouse from 1816 to 1851, when the building in Ironton opened. In 1875 a fire forced the removal of the bell tower. In 1891 the courthouse was turned over to the South Point Board of Education that tore it down and used the bricks to build a school.