The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

May 14, 2014

Van Buren's historic courthouse needs repairs

KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren County Courthouse, which was built in 1843, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and is the oldest courthouse in Iowa, is in need of repair.

County Auditor Jon Finney reported to the Van Buren County Board of Supervisors that the windows and parts of the soffet are rotting.

“Right now, there’s nothing major,” Finney said, "but it is a soft brick and has had expansion problems.”

Finney said it’s cheaper to be proactive before major issues become a problem.

Supervisor Mark Meek said, “I would be in favor of partnering and seeing how much money we could get.”

Finney suggested hiring a historic architect to begin the process. A few years ago, an architect reviewed the building, Finney said.

After that, the CLG board and supervisors would meet to decide the next step.

“We’re all in favor of saving the historic courthouse,” said Supervisor Ted Nixon, “but it all boils down to money.”

Meek told Larry Streed, president of Van Buren County CLG Board, that “we appreciate your work.”

Streed also updated the board on the “forgotten towns” project.

Supervisors told Streed that they have noticed people stopping to view the new signs placed around the county.

Streed said the towns depicted are limited to those which had a plat map drawn. There are a total of 37 signs, he reported.

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