County offices relocate after Courthouse fire

By Ruthie Robison The Webster Progress-Times

After reviewing different options, the Board of Supervisors has decided to relocate all courthouse offices to the Webster County Office Building in Eupora.

The predawn fire that gutted the courthouse in Walthall on Jan. 17 necessitated the move. Supervisors agreed during a Friday evening recessed meeting to relocate the offices that were located in the courthouse to the County Office Building at 16 E. Fox Ave. The relocation process began that day.

The building currently houses offices for the Webster County Extension Service, Justice Court (including courtroom), Mississippi Department of Corrections field officer and veterans service officer.

The conference room will be designated as the chancery clerk’s office, while the circuit clerk’s office will be located in the former Civil Defense office. The tax assessor’s office will be in the former Department of Public Safety Driver’s License Office while the purchasing clerk will move into the Law Library. The Mississippi Forestry Commission will relocate to a vacant MDOC office.

The Board of Supervisors has announced that renovations are currently ongoing at the new designated site to accommodate the Webster County offices.

The Board of Supervisors aim to resume business as soon as renovations are completed.

Tax Assessor-Collector Barbara Gore requests that Webster County residents who paid taxes including garbage, paid for car tags or filed homestead exemptions to please bring the receipts from Jan. 2 up until the courthouse burning to the new location of the tax office. The tax assessor’s office will be able to get the records copied and residents will get credit for those items.

Although the offices will not be fully functional, basic county services will be provided.

In addition, the County Office Building will be the site for Circuit Court. The new location will provide a bulletin board for posting public notices, while the north front door of the building will be designated for statutory sales.

The Board of Supervisors will now meet in the boardroom of the Webster County Schools’ Central Office Building located at 95 Clark Ave., Eupora.

The supervisors are continuing discussions and forming an action plan of recovery.