Now is the time to build courthouse square annexes

Published 1:41 am Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Now is the time to build courthouse square annexes

Building costs are as low as they are ever likely to be, which makes the construction of the annexes proposed for the area that would become Courthouse Square in Poplarville more affordable than they will ever be.

In fact, if there is any good thing about the recent economic downturn it is that those annexes cost less to build today than they would have even two years ago.

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Further, the construction of the annexes will actually infuse money into the county’s economy as the construction is taking place by providing jobs for local construction workers and sales for building supply houses. The annexes will continue to support the county’s economy on into the future by helping make Pearl River County a good place to do business for those who are looking to start a business or who are looking for a new location.

To put the construction of these annexes off to some future time is simply to delay — likely forever — what should be done today to help secure a better future. Such a delay would be foolish. To quote a saying from the past, it is an action that would be “penny wise and pound foolish,” which is an old English way of saying that an investment now will bring dividends. Another way of saying it is, to not spend that money now would ensure a poorer future.

The annexes will provide not only a clean, spacious atmosphere in which to conduct business with the county, they will enhance the county’s continuing efforts to modernize its systems with the new technology that businesses have come to expect.

Pearl River County has been growing in leaps and bounds in population since Hurricane Katrina roared through on August 29, 2005. That growth has put great strains on the county government and the county’s records and record-keeping systems, all of which would be improved through the construction of the annexes with their improved electrical and other infrastructure needed to support modern technology.

The one thing that has not been growing in leaps and bounds since Hurricane Katrina, though, is Pearl River County’s business and industrial base, for which there are several reasons, but one of those reasons is the creaky county technological infrastructure on which business now relies. These annexes would lead to great improvements that should help relieve that bottleneck to economic development.

As Supervisor Hudson Holliday and Board of Supervisors President Anthony Hales point out, the people who built this county had the foresight to build the current Courthouse, which has served the county for 92 years, but after 92 years, is showing its age.

The Courthouse is an historic structure and has an important future on the Courthouse Square that would be developed through the construction of the annexes. It would remain the hub for county business but would now have new “ball bearings” to help it operate more efficiently.

Today’s residents of this county need to make an investment in the future of this county, similar in nature and vision as that made by those farsighted citizens in the early part of the last century, for those who come after us. The proposed annexes are a good investment to secure a better economic future for the citizens  of this county, both current ones and those to come after us.

It is always easy to say “no,” but now is the time to say “yes” and to strongly support this investment in our future.