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Baxley supports Somerville's plan to restore old courthouse

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
For the second time in less than two months, Somerville has received the support of a state elected official in its efforts to restore the old county courthouse in the town square.
Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, a Democratic contender in the next gubernatorial election, pledged her support of the project recently after meeting with town officials, touring the historic building and meeting with about 50 residents in the building's first floor municipal courtroom.
"It means so much to me to see a community like yours come together and get behind a project of this magnitude," Baxley said.
"This building is a beautiful structure, a valuable resource, and it can't be replaced. I commend you on what you're doing.
"While I can't produce the money you need to restore the building, I support what you're doing and I will help you in any way that I can.
"In my experience of serving in a position of public trust, it's the people who work and scramble the hardest who get the job done. Don't underestimate the value of making phone calls and writing letters to elected and appointed officials in support of your cause."
Mayor Ray Long thanked Baxley for taking the time from her busy schedule to stop by and see what the people of Somerville are trying to accomplish.
"We're committed to the restoration of the courthouse but we need the help of you and other state officials to see the project through to completion," he pointed out.
Long said the community has raised $8,500 for the project through fundraisers and has received a $90,000 American Treasure grant, which requires a 50 percent local match before it can be accessed. He added that an application has been submitted for a $250,000 Community Enhancement grant through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
Granny Madge Schofield, grandmother of American Idol finalist Bo Bice, was one of several who spoke out in support of the restoration project.
"I'm getting on in years and I want to see the courthouse restored before I pass on," she stated.
Baxley said she believes her rural heritage, employment in county government, two terms as state treasurer and a term as lieutenant governor have prepared her well for the state's highest elected office.