RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – Craftsmen with the William Lowe (Bill) Waller Sr. Craft Center in Ridgeland are hoping the state will pay for the building’s $750,000 HVAC and foundation repairs.

The Northside Sun reported the building, located on Rice Road, is leased for $1 a year by the state. The Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi is responsible for paying the building’s maintenance and utility bills, which amount to at least $6,100 each month.

Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee said he and other supporters helped secure $100,00 for the building from the Legislature in 2021. However, he said the city doesn’t have the legal authority to make repairs since the building is owned by the state.

Craftsman Debby Delashmet said the building needs $750,000 in HVAC and foundation repairs. The HVAC repairs alone will cost $450,000.

The newspaper reported Guild Interim Executive Director Tomeka Hall-Cheatham emailed a presentation about the building’s needs to the Mississippi Department of Finance Administration (DFA). She is hoping the DFA will have funds for the building’s repairs come July 1, when the state government’s new fiscal year starts.