FRANKLIN COUNTY — The Franklin County Board held a special meeting Monday afternoon and hired White and Borgognoni Architects of Carbondale to do preliminary design work for the construction of a new Franklin County Courthouse in Benton.

County Board Administrative Assistant Gayla Prather says the cost of the preliminary design is not known at this time, but the County Board hopes to have something from the architects by this time next month.

The architects will be gathering information concerning the needs of the departments that will be housed in the courthouse, looking at the requirements that are set down for courtrooms and using that information to get a very informed plan together.

Prather also noted this is not specifically the final plans, nor the architects, that will be used.

The County Board recently agreed to place a sales tax referendum on the April 2 ballot that if passed will create revenue for construction of a new courthouse and finish renovations to the Campbell Building on the Benton Square. The sales tax will sunset when the new courthouse is paid off.