Brownstown residents should be excited about plans to spruce up the Jackson County Courthouse square downtown.
We encourage town and county officials to consider joining forces with Brownstown/Ewing Main Street as that nonprofit group proposes to improve East Walnut Street where fire destroyed two buildings in August 2009.
It could make sense that town and county officials consider pairing this project with a county proposal to buy several properties between the courthouse and annex, the former home of the county jail.
We’ll confess to cringing a bit at the thought of taking so much land off the property tax rolls and placing it under public ownership, but it appears the county has demonstrated the need for more office space, storage space and parking spaces.
Properties connecting the courthouse and annex would seem to provide a good answer for that growth.
Still, we must wonder whether the county and its residents would be better served by relocating Jackson Superior Court II from its current, temporary home in the annex to the Jackson Superior Court I building on Seymour’s west side. That facility was built — and property acquired — with such growth in mind.
But back to the Walnut Street proposal. Creating a community space in the area where those buildings were destroyed by fire and where a former feed mill now stands empty could certainly enhance the courthouse square.
If there is no viable interest in developing properties for renewed commercial use, we say have at it and would encourage the community to become involved in making the public space a reality.
What do you think?
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