In 2009, Bolivar County, Mississippi, Administrator William Hooker and a board-delegated crew of local leaders traveled to meet with members of Congress in Washington, D.C., to rally for the financial support to restore the Bolivar County courthouse in Rosedale, MS. They received funding for the project and on April 2, 2012 a ground breaking ceremony was held for the First Judicial District Courthouse located in Rosedale. USDA Rural Development awarded a $350,000 Recovery Act Community Facilities grant. The project also received a $350,000 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Economic Grant, a $300,000 grant from the MS Department of Archives and History, and $300,000 from the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors. A majority of the money went towards improving the building's weakening foundation. Installing a new roof and a number of interior retouches were also big parts of the restoration.
Less than a year after the groundbreaking, the Rosedale Courthouse is open for business. Earlier this month, the Bolivar County Courthouse grand re-opening ceremony was held. The courthouse was built in 1922 so the renovation not only places the building back in full operation, but preserves an important piece of history for Bolivar County and Rosedale. "USDA is very proud to have played a role in helping this dream come true for Bolivar County," said USDA Rural Development State Director Trina George. "This endeavor is a long time coming, so generations to come will now have a place to do their business."
A number of project leaders and key players in the renovation process were honored at the ceremony. Statements were given by the supervisors, County Administrator Will Hooker, Rosedale Mayor Carey Estes, guest speaker and former Bolivar County Administrator Mimi Dossett, Project Manager Holly Hawkins, State Director George and others. Letters of support were also presented from U.S. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson and U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.
The event closed with Williams and District 5 Supervisor Larry King unveiling a new cornerstone at the building's front steps.
To find out how USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program can help restore public buildings in your town, click here.