County Executive Declares
Truman Courthouse a “Public Emergency”

January 30, 2009 (KANSAS CITY, MO) – Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders today declared the Historic Jackson County Truman Courthouse to be a public emergency. Joining Mr. Sanders were State Senator and 2009 Senate Minority Leader Victor Callahan (District 11), State Representative Gary Dusenberg (District 54) and County Legislator Dennis Waits (3rd District).

Mr. Sanders thanked Independence Mayor Don Reimal for his partnership and said, “Mayor Reimal’s work on this project has been essential as it continues moving forward.”

By declaring the building a public emergency, under Jackson County Charter and Missouri state statute, the County will be able to free up funds from its state mandated contingency fund.  It will be intended to cover the costs of preservation in the short run. Sanders said that “recent engineering reports and further deterioration indicate that we no longer have the luxury of waiting for help to fund the repairs necessary. If we don’t act, we are in danger of effectively losing this historic building.”
An estimated $800,000 is needed, Sanders said, to complete the crucial second phase of the courthouse renovation. He went on to point out that the County has already set aside $270,000 for Phase II and will be looking to the contingency fund for what he described as “a necessity to prevent the building from deteriorating beyond the point of repair.”

The Historic Jackson County Truman Courthouse at 112 West Lexington Avenue on the Independence Square houses President Truman’s original office and courtroom from his tenure as Jackson County Presiding Judge (1927 – 1934); the Brady Courtroom and the Jackson County Historical Society office and archives.  The Truman Courthouse has been on National Registry of Historic Buildings since 1972.