Editor Supports New Court House Levy in 1941


Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 1/2/1941.

Can We Afford to do Without a New Court House?

(Illegible) column of the Chronicle will be found a call for an election to ratify or reject a special levy of taxes for the next three years for the purpose of helping the federal government build a new courthouse for Calhoun County.

It is proposed to lay the following levies on each one hundred dollars valuation:  class I 4.7 cents; class II  9.4 cents; Classes III and IV 18.8 cents, for the years 1941, 1942, and 1943.

More than $100,000 of the funds alloted by the federal government for the courthouse and jail project remains unspent.

The levies proposed, based on the present valuation of property in the county will raise about $12,500.00 each year.

No one can deny that Calhoun county needs a modern building in which to house records of vital importance to every owner.  A lighted match or cigarette dumped in a wrong place and left to smolder may wipe out the deeds, leases, contracts, and other records that have been accumulating for some eighty-five years.  This is the big reason why Calhoun should have a modern, fire-proof courthouse.

Next of vital importance to taxpayers of the county is the fact that the present building is entirely too small to house county offices.  About $3,000 a year is being paid by the county court for outside office rooms which are required by law to be furnished for various agencies such as the DPA, board of health, state police, WPA, board of education, NYA, etc.  A saving of those rents amortized over a period of a few years will pay the taxpayers share of the new building.

The Chronicle does not kid itself about these expenditures of federal funds.  The fiddler must be paid to dance.  Our idea is that if we go thumbs down on this federal money alloted to Calhoun county it will be used to build a swimming pool in Kankakee, Iowa, or some other seaport.

The proposed levies will cost taxpayers each year for three years about this way:

A man with $1,000 in the bank, 47 cents.
A man with a home or farm assessed at $1,000, 94 cents.
A merchant, gas station operator, or anyone trying to turn an honest dollar, with an assessed valuation of $1,000, $1.88.

Another thing to think about is the employment situation in Calhoun county.  Calhoun county has no factories, mines, or industries to take up the slack.  Men and their families must be fed and clothed.  The courthouse project will give employment to a large number of men who otherwise will be idle.

If Calhoun county does not heed this knock of opportunity at the door, we will never be able to have a modern courthouse.