by Jessica Cervantez
It will take $4.3 million to restore the San Augustine County courthouse. The state provided a grant for more than $3-million. The county would have to provide 15% of the project, which is $657-thousand. Right now, the garden club is about $270-thousand short, and that concerned the commissioner's court.
San Augustine County Judge Randy Williams said, "The county doesn't have that money, that's a big lump sum of money, the county is pretty much broke."
But there was a misunderstanding. Even though the project is set to begin July 1st, the club still has 14-months to raise that money, so a local bank is going to give them a line of credit for now.
Betty Oglesbee, part of the garden club, said, "There was a tiny bit of misunderstanding. We were afraid that some of the commissioners thought we had to have all that money right now."
Judge Williams said about 100-residents filled the seats in support of the renovation.
Oglesbee said, "We were excited. We just called folks, city leaders, concerned citizens, and the garden club came in mass."
Everyone including the county judge is on board for the restoration project. They say it's something that is badly needed.
Judge Williams said, "We are wanting the courthouse redone, if I didn't want it I wouldn't have asked for the grant."
One part of the restoration includes adding the balcony in the district courtroom like it used to be.
Oglesbee said, "There will be a complete restoration about how the courthouse looked when it was built in 1927."
Now, they're just waiting for the go ahead in July.
Employees will be moved from the courthouse sometime in June. The project is said to take about 14-months.