Henry County Courthouse

With projects planned out to address issues with the exterior of the Henry County Courthouse, including the tower and Lady of Justice statue, the Henry County commissioners will be exploring historic and preservation grants to help fund projects inside the building, which was completed in 1882. Pictured is a 2018 file photo of the courthouse.

The Henry County commissioners Thursday approved a proposal for advocacy and grant-writing services as they look toward continuing improvements to the county courthouse.

While recent projects at the historic courthouse have focused on the exterior of the building — such as the bell tower and Lady of Justice statue — the commissioners are looking ahead to once all three phases of that project are completed. While some exterior work will still need addressed, interior items include addressing water damage and focusing on decorative items which have started to degrade.

“It needs some attention,” Henry County Commissioner Glenn Miller said, adding the commissioners are hopeful the projects could be eligible for preservation funding since that’s their intention for the building completed in 1882.

Miller said the commissioners believe the firm Mizsak, Feinberg, Phillips, Bruckman, and Wade, LLP has the contacts and knowledge to locate and apply for funding to help with upcoming projects, especially due to the historic nature of the courthouse.

“Since we don’t know who to go to and where to look ... it just made sense to invest some money and see what we came out with,” he said. “They know the places to go look.”

The proposal from Mizsak, Feinberg, Phillips, Bruckman, and Wade, LLP has the goal of obtaining funding from the Department of the Interior to preserve the courthouse and obtaining grants from the federal government, State of Ohio through capital grants and the Ohio History Connection for preservation efforts. It also notes private grants would also be sought.

The proposal includes a $2,500 retainer fee, with additional expenses dependent on how much time is spent on the work. The timeline outlined in the proposal is through Jan. 3, 2023.

The commissioners have the funding set aside for the remaining two phases of the exterior tower work, and Miller said discussions will begin soon in more detail about those projects. He said funds would likely start to be set aside for the interior work as well, possibly to serve as local matches to grant funds.

E-mail comments to jenl@northwestsignal.net.

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