MILFORD - More than 100 attended a presentation Wednesday to hear the Historic Preservation Trust of Pike County discuss the proposed $10 million courthouse expansion in Milford.
The Historic Preservation Trust and others are opposed to the plan they feel would chip deeply at Milford's historic character.
Pike commissioners say the county legal system has outgrown the courthouse, built in 1872.
In May, the county jail housed the highest number of inmates for a month in its history, according to documents presented at the Pike County Prison Board meeting Wednesday.
The new courthouse plan calls for the removal of the Kenworthy building and a larger footprint for the courthouse. The Kenworthy is the historic green and white house next to the courthouse and is used as judges' chambers. Judges must walk outside between the courthouse and annex with deputies acting as security and then walk past people awaiting hearings.
The trust unveiled two alternative plans that were drawn by "an architect who shall remain unnamed," said Ed Brannon, president the trust. When questioned later, he described the designs as concept drawings.
Both plans would keep the Kenworthy building intact and allow for a smaller courthouse addition.
One plan would reduce the proposed expansion by 900 square feet, but the group's favored plan would reduce the expansion by 2,900 square feet by knocking off a floor above ground and adding a basement. Commissioners have already considered adding a basement, and it is not feasible.
Bill Kiger said the trust aims to have the Kenworthy house remain, assure the courthouse is restored to the state it deserves, and the integrity of the historic district be maintained.
"Money is not an issue," Kiger said, adding commissioners have plenty of money. "We know all about how much money they have."