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Once again the Lamar County Commissioners are discussing if they should continue repairs on the Historic Post Office or abandon it and build a new building instead. This item is on the agenda for the upcoming Commissioners Court Meeting on Monday, June 22, at 9am.
In August 2011, many who work in downtown or who work to restore/rebuild the historic downtown of Paris, gathered in the Commissioners Court to argue in defense of the old post office. Pleading with the Commissioners to maintain the old post office rather than build a new structure to replace it.
At that meeting nearly three years ago, Kari Daniels, owner of the Green Boutique and Paris Downtown Association President at the time said, “For a historic building downtown to have the potential to be abandoned would be heartbreaking.”
Cheri Bedford, Main Street Coordinator wrote an editorial letter on eparisextra.com at the time that stated in part, “Downtown cannot afford to have another unoccupied building. The downtown represents the core of our community. It is my opinion that this would not be in anyone’s best interest, and it definitely not being good stewardship of our resources. This building and other buildings in downtown represent the fabric of our town history. To allow such a special use building to be abandon would be crippling our Main Street efforts. It goes against all we have been working for in our downtown and for our city and county.”
Prior to the county purchasing the building and converting it into a functional courthouse, the building sat vacant, falling into disrepair for five years. The old post office holds the election office, the veterans service officer and the vehicle registration office.
Many who support efforts to revitalize downtown Paris don’t want to see that happen again, and will certainly be filling the gallery again at Monday morning’s meeting.