The Madison County Board of Supervisors has been approached by a Canton property management and development firm that wants to buy the Madison County Courthouse on the downtown square.
Bobby McMurtry of Barks Fek LLC has proposed what he calls a “long-term solution to the ongoing maintenance problems posed by the courthouse” by using a tax credit financing plan. But to use the New Market Tax Credit, the county would have to sell the historic landmark to the developer for seven years.
“If the plan is marketed right to the people, they could look at it as a benefit,” McMurtry said.
That notion has supervisors seeking more time to study the situation.
“I don’t know if I’m warmed up to the idea of selling the courthouse,” said District 4 Supervisor Karl Banks, who along with District 5 Supervisor Paul Griffin, represents portions of Canton, where the building has been an icon for over 150 years.
“That could just be selling ourselves out,” Griffin said.
McMurtry said the repair and renovation of the courthouse would be a boon for all of downtown Canton.
“We’re talking about the entire square, creating a new aesthetic look for the square,” he said. “This is a marketing tool.”
Madison County Herald