New Courthouse?

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One of the Rose City's most recognizable landmarks is a hot topic of debate. Some say the Thomas County Courthouse is not safe and needs to be replaced.

Elaine Mays, Thomas County Commissioner, says, "We cannot secure this courthouse as we could a new one, and the new one would have all of the security measures."

Thomas County voters rejected a one percent sales tax that would have funded a new courthouse last March, but after the circuit's security meeting last week, county commissioners say they're looking forward to another vote.

Elaine Mays says, "We've never had a shooting here in the courthouse. All it's going to take is one, and then we have a major problem."

The need for better security has been the commission's platform throughout their campaign for a new courthouse. Now the commissioners will try once again to convince Thomas County voters that a new building will provide that protection.

David Hutchings, Clerk of Superior Court for Thomas County, says, "The buildings that are being built now for courthouses are designed with security in mind. They’re designed to have the public secure and they’re designed for all types of security measures."

They are measures that may soon have Thomas County voters, once again, putting a price tag on security.

Members of the Thomas County Commission plans to talk with voters this summer to show them what must be done to make the courthouse safe.