Benton – Franklin County Circuit Clerk Jim Muir says the Franklin County Courthouse in Benton is “falling down around us” and it’s time for a new courthouse. At Monday night’s Benton City Council meeting, Muir presented the facts in order to clear up some misinformation circulating about the proposed courthouse project. Muir says there are many problems with the courthouse. They include the electrical and heating systems not being in great shape, the crumbling basement, and the elevator not being handicap accessible. Muir added that the biggest thing he worries about daily is security because there’s only one entrance to the courthouse and that’s on the south side. The Franklin County Board in December voted unanimously to place on the April 2 ballot a one percent sales tax referendum to create revenue for construction of a new courthouse and only for that purpose. Once the courthouse is paid off, the sales tax will sunset. Plans calls for the courtrooms and the Circuit Clerk’s office to move temporarily to the vacant antique store on the east side of the square until the new courthouse is finished. The County Treasurer and County Clerk’s office will move permanently to the Campbell Building after the south end of the building is renovated. It will take 18 to 24 for months to demolish the courthouse and build the new facility.