Vidalia Beautification Committee asks police jury to rehabilitate old courthouse

Published 12:45 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2023

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VIDALIA, La. — The Vidalia Beautification Committee has its sights set on continuing to improve the old Concordia Parish courthouse with the police jury’s support.

Local volunteer Cassandra Lynch addressed the Concordia Parish Police Jury Monday on behalf of the Vidalia Beautification Committee asking for them to seek grant funds to rehabilitate the old courthouse.

Built in 1939, it has a lot of potential, Lynch said.

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In 2004, the courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places and has served a variety of uses through the years, including housing parish and school board offices, court, a jail and a library much later.

Lynch said with some work, the courthouse could be used again for a variety of functions. First, second and third floors could be leased for office spaces and a gift shop. The fourth floor, she said, could be used for a tourism department.

“We don’t have anything as a show and tell,” Lynch said.

In the past few years, the Vidalia Beautification Committee has worked to transform the courthouse square for the Christmas holidays, complete with cutout decorations, activities for children and lights hanging from the large swooping branches of the oak trees that cost thousands of dollars.

This was a “big hit” for the Miss-Lou communities and done entirely by volunteers, Lynch said.

Lynch asked the police jury for help doing the work that’s still needed, including repairs to the building itself and planting and grass cutting in the courthouse square.

“It’s your courthouse,” she said.

Darden said she is familiar with a Department of Transportation Grant that could fund such a project, however, the police jury took no action on the issue.