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Special grants may pay for courthouse

BURLINGTON — Getting neighborhood grants to fund the construction of a community center for Burlington has become a possibility.

About a year ago Lawrence County Commissioner Bill Pratt headed up an ad hoc committee to come up with events for the county’s bicentennial this year.

Burlington was named Lawrence’s first county seat in 1816 and was the site of the first courthouse.

Pratt’s goal was to recreate a replica of the original structure to be used as a community center and a possible repository for genealogical material for the eastern end.

While sidewalks and parking lots could be funded by Community Development Block Grants, private fundraising efforts did not result in the money needed to pay for the building. Now there appears to be another funding avenue.

“We are trying to focus on that area for a competitive neighborhood grant that would allow different things, not only a community building,” said Ralph Kline, assistant executive director of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization.

The maximum the county could apply for is $300,000.

County officials plan to have a public hearing in the next two weeks.

“We would like to hear from the people and develop a program,” Kline said.