Historic courthouse in line for federal funds
Nothing is certain until you have the cash in hand; however, it was exciting to hear that the Merced County Courthouse Museum in downtown Merced has been chosen for federal funding consideration by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee.
This could result in a $2 million grant to help fund a much-needed restoration project to the building’s exterior. Merced County has already set aside $1 million for the project, and the local Historic Society has added another $50,000.
The historic Courthouse — considered the most recognizable symbol of Merced County government — is suffering from exterior wear and tear. The monumental building has cracks that are growing and molding that is crumbling, among numerous issues. It’s also in need of a new paint job. County officials estimate that it will take at least $3 million to get the historic building back in shape.
An Appropriations bill in Washington still has to pass through the U.S. House and Senate before any local funding is actually awarded. The courthouse project is one of 10 related projects in the region under consideration.
During a recent luncheon held by the museum to honor its volunteer docents, County Supervisors Lloyd Pereira and Josh Pedrozo mentioned the possible funding, and gave Congressman Jim Costa credit for working to get the funds for Merced County.
They said the Courthouse Museum was in a good position for the funding because the restoration project is already set up and ready to go.