Franklin County Board Chairman Disappointed Voters Turned Down Referendum

(BENTON, IL) — Franklin County Board Chairman Randall Crocker says he’s disappointed that voters Tuesday turned down the one percent sales tax referendum that would have been used to raise funds to build a new courthouse in Benton. Election results show that two-thirds of county voters said no on this issue while over a third said yes. Crocker says he didn’t know if voters understood what the county was trying to do with the referendum, but he feels good about how county leaders got the word out. Crocker says the county is now back at square one and discussion regarding what to do next is planned for the near future. The current courthouse was built in 1870 and has a laundry list of problems like bad wiring, a crumbling foundation and security concerns. The county was hoping to raise $18 to $20 million for a new facility through the sales tax that would expire when the project was paid off roughly in 15 to 20 years.