The Tennessee Historical Commission recently awarded Monroe County with a grant to help restore the Monroe County Courthouse.

According to a press release from the Tennessee Historical Commission (THC), it has announced 35 Federal Historic Preservation Fund grants totaling over $839,000 awarded for various historic preservation and archaeological projects throughout the state.

The grants are awarded annually for projects that support the preservation of historic and archaeological resources.

“This program is one of the main ways in which our office helps protect historic places and contribute to the preservation of Tennessee’s heritage,” said Patrick McIntyre, executive director and state historic preservation officer.

Grants are competitive and, this year, the THC staff reviewed 50 applications with funding requests totaling $1.7 million, which is significantly more than the amount available.

This year’s selection included an archaeological survey, design guidelines for historic districts, rehabilitation of historic buildings, a poster highlighting the state’s archaeology, and surveys of historic resources.

THC awarded the county a $25,200 Courthouse Restoration Grant that will be used to finish the brick and mortar work on the courthouse in Madisonville.

The grant is 60% federal money with 40% being matched locally.

“We are very excited to receive this because we started work on this facility in the past and this will allow us to continue the work,” said Monroe County Mayor Mitch Ingram. “We look forward to start working on it again this summer, so if you come through town during that time you may see some cranes and scaffolding.”

The grant will allow the county to complete “a huge chunk” of the work they wish to do to finish the restoration of the courthouse.

“A couple years ago we were approved for a grant that allowed us to do the front side of the courthouse, which is the west side,” Ingram noted. “Now we will be moving to the east side ... So this is pretty much completing the brick and mortar projects that we wanted to do.”

The current hope is to begin the restoration work during the start of summer and have it completed by the start of next year.

Inconveniences for entry into the courthouse during the restoration will be kept to a minimum.

“The only things that may be affected by the work may be some parking spaces around the courthouse,” Ingram explained. “Most of the work will be on the other end of the courthouse so for the most part it will be business as usual.”

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