Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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July 5, 2013

Courthouse restoration to be decided by public vote

Corsicana — Navarro County Commissioners are expected to vote Monday to hold a bond election in November to let the public decide on a general obligation bond issue to fund its share of the proposed courthouse restoration.

The county had been planning to issue Certificates of Obligation to pay its share of the project, helped with a grant from the state.

However, after review by the county's bond counsel, commissioners have learned a General Obligation bond issue would be better suited for financing the proposed restoration with less of an impact on the county's tax rate.

Concern was expressed at the court's July 1 special meeting that the Texas Historical Commission, providing over $4 million towards the cost of the project, might pull the county's grant should the county switch from its plans to issue Certificates of Obligation and go with a general bond election. County Judge H.M. Davenport said Friday state officials have told him they will continue to work with the county in whatever path it chooses to fund the work.

The public would have had to launch a petition drive in order to force an election under the Certificate of Obligation method of funding. Now, commissioners will call a November election to have the public decide if the project will go forward.

This move also gives the county more time to finalize all the costs related to the restoration and the temporary relocation of courthouse operations, plus the acquisition of an annex building that would be required should the restoration receive public approval.

We'll post more information on this story later today, and in the Saturday print edition of the Daily Sun.

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