Building maintenance can be expensive, as a $24 million repair bill for the federal courthouse in Aberdeen shows.
Congress recently approved a plan to fix the courthouse in Monroe County, which is home to one of the federal courts in the Northern District of Mississippi.
The problem has been festering for four years. In the summer of 2016, mold developed in the building when there were air-conditioning problems. Despite cleanup work, employees developed allergies and other respiratory problems.
In 2017, the General Services Administration, which maintains federally owned buildings, said the courthouse was uninhabitable. Ultimately it took the efforts of Mississippi’s two U.S. senators to get the GSA to include the Aberdeen courthouse on its repair list.
But $24 million? That must have been one serious case of mold. The work will run through 2024, including a new air-conditioning system along with removal of mold and lead paint.
It is a reminder to Mississippi counties, each having a courthouse of their own, that regular building maintenance is a necessary expense. Few of these counties can set aside millions for repairs, the way the federal government did.