The historic courthouse on the McDonough Square could be repurposed, and the cities of McDonough and Locust Grove have expressed opposition to it.

LOCUST GROVE – The Locust Grove City Council voted to support the city of McDonough’s efforts to keep the Henry County courthouses on the McDonough Square.

The council voted 5-1 in support of the proposal. The only councilman to vote against the proposal, Carlos Greer, said he wanted more information on the matter.

Robert Price, the mayor of Locust Grove, said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting that he has had conversations with the city of McDonough and its mayor, Billy Copeland, about the courthouse.

“Mayor Copeland is very in favor of keeping the tradition of the courthouse and the functions of the courts on the square,” Price said. “Of course, other people want to move it somewhere else, but personally, it’s been there all my life. I’ve played there, it’s one of the prettiest spots in the county, and I would like to keep it as is.”

Greer’s objections, the only comments made at the Tuesday meeting, centered around the condition of the facility and if the city had spoken to those who work in the current courthouse.

“It’s a good location,” Greer said. “I’ve had conversations with some employees, and you get both sides. What concerns me, there is mold in the current facility. If I’m not mistaken, they’ve tried to remedy it several times, and it continues to be an issue. When it rains, down in the basement, it always gets wet. What I’m told, there’s a lot of water damage.”

Greer said he was looking at the overall health and wellness of those who work there.

Several individuals within the Henry County government have expressed a desire to move the courthouse to an area closer to the jail. Supporters of the new location have stated the area could address court overcrowding and the county’s lack of space to conduct operations.

As part of the proposed changes, county administrative employees could potentially be moved to the current courthouse building.

“We’ve heard proposals, discussions and concerns about expanding the Judicial Center in its current location or exchanging the Judicial Center with the Henry County Administration location, so I look forward to the Board of Commissioners’ final discussion and vote on what’s best for our Judicial Center now and into the future,” June Wood, chairwoman of the Henry County Board of Commissioners, said in May.

In June, the McDonough City Council voted to put a non-binding referendum on the November ballot that would ask the city voters if they would like to see the courthouse stay in the city or move to an area near the jail.

That referendum would be placed alongside the City Council elections also going on in November.

Government Reporter

A native of Hampton, Georgia, Joe Adgie has worked for the Valdosta Daily Times, Clayton News, Rockdale Citizen and Newton Citizen. Adgie joined the Henry Herald in April 2018.

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