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Clark County Courthouse Construction

Clark County Courthouse Construction - 500.jpg

The former Clark County Courthouse in Kahoka, MO stood for roughly 140 years and it was starting to show its age.

Court proceedings had to be moved to a nearby building over safety and security concerns while the foundation was starting to shift.  There were also accessibility issues and limited space.

Talk of restoring or replacing the facility had been out there for years.  In fact, the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation started including the Clark County Courthouse in its list of Most Endangered Historic Places in 2005.

The facility’s final appearance on the list was in 2009.  It was at that time the organization acknowledged the structure was in jeopardy because of a local committee recommended the construction of a new Clark County Courthouse.

Not everyone was onboard with that idea, leading to failed ballot referenda, candlelight vigils and letters to the editor opposing the new courthouse.

Public sentiment seemed to shift, though, when a plan surfaced to pay for the new facility with sales tax revenue instead of property tax revenue.

That feeling carried into the voting booths in early 2010 as residents approved the new county-wide sales tax and the borrowing of $4-million for a new 25,000 square foot courthouse.

Two years later, Presiding Commissioner Ron Brewer says the project is right on track.  He says it is 80% complete at this point.

Brewer says the county offices should be moved into the new building in September with a grand opening scheduled for Oct. 3.

He says the revenue from the new county-wide sales tax is coming in at a level needed to pay for the new courthouse.

Brewer says the facility has been needed for years and he hopes everyone in Clark County will be happy with the final product.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.