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Commission Aware of Vandalism at County Home

By Staff | Aug 17, 2016

MIDDLEBOURNE – Tyler County Commission seeks more information about vandalism recently committed against the former County Home.

Vandals ripped out the County Home’s front doors by the frame on Aug. 6 – the last day of the Tyler County Fair. The steps leading to the home were demolished and the windows above the door were busted.

The matter is under investigation by the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department.

The historic building is currently under the ownership of the county government and leased to the Tyler County Fair Association.

During the Aug. 10 meeting, Peggy George, president of the Tyler County Home Restoration Committee, said she plans to write a write a letter to the fair association asking if the restoration committee can sublet the property.

If the fair association agrees to sublet, the commissioners would decide whether to approve the agreement.

Commissioners agreed to study the matter in more detail and asked Tyler County Prosecutor Luke Furbee to look into the legalities associated with any potential contract revisions.

In October, commissioners approved a motion that allows preservationists more time to formulate a plan and locate funding resources.

“I do not understand why they dally on the matter,” George said. “I thought giving us permission to raise funds and opportunity to get grants was a step forward in fixing something that hasn’t been touched or resolved over the years. Each time we say we are ready to something, they say they are unsure what they want to do or they say we are thinking of selling it on the courthouse steps–almost like they just want us to give up.”

The commission has not made any concrete plans about what to do with the property.

“We are truly going to look into all our options on this property,” said Eric Vincent, president of the Tyler County Commission. “We haven’t made a decision yet. For the commission to come to some kind of resolution, we have to seek legal council to make sure any decision is correct.”

Vincent said the county has had maintenance employees go to the county home in the past to secure the building.

“Acts of vandalism have continued to affect the building,” he said. “We’re doing the best we can to make sure to keep the property is secure.”

The restoration committee has collected nearly $10,000 from fundraising activities during the past several months, George said. She wants to use that money to pursue necessary repairs to the county home’s front doors.

In other business, commissioners amended dog feeding ordinance to run July to June to better assist the assessors office.

And commissioners signed an application to accept and a more than $50,000 grant that will provide cameras among other measures to enhance courthouse security.