County moves to buy new building for justice court

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 6, 2001

The Warren County Justice Court will get a new home if a title search authorized Monday is clear.

During their meeting, supervisors voted unanimously for their attorney, Randy Sherard, to research the deed to a building owned by Richard Cowart on the northeast corner of Jackson and Farmer streets. Located at 921 Farmer, the one-story building had been occupied by U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies including the Farm Service Agency.

Richard George, District 5 supervisor and board president, said the county had negotiated a price of $142,500 with Cowart, pending a title check.

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“The Justice Court building is antiquated, and it does not meet the space requirements,” he said.

That building, now serving all three judges, is a former residence at 1019 Adams St.

It was purchased from former board attorney John Prewitt, who became a circuit judge, in the early 1980s. Before that, there were five justice court judges who provided their own office space, often in their homes.

In addition to getting a more modern building with more space, George said the new facility will be all on one level with easier access for all people and have more parking. There is also room on the lot to expand both the building and the parking lot.

“This is also the closest site we could find that is close to the Warren County Jail,” he said. Justice judges hear misdemeanor criminal cases and conduct first appearances for people accused in family disturbances. They also hear civil claims.

George said renovating the present building to get more space was not an option because it is a historic structure.

In recent years, supervisors have completed a new complex at Adams and Grove, It houses youthful offenders and has space to confine mental patients, Youth Court operations, the driver’s license and extension services. The board has an office building on Jackson Street and purchased a former grocery store on Openwood to house local operations of the state Department of Human Services.

In other business, supervisors voted to buy a rubber-tired loader/backhoe from Puckett Equipment of Jackson. Puckett bid $54,832 for the machine, beating Stribling Equipment and Diviney Equipment, both also of Jackson.

They also took under advisement bids for a two-year supply of uniforms for the Warren County Jail employees from Cintas and Mid-South Uniform and Supply, both from Jackson, Change-N-Times Ltd of Vicksburg and Delta Uniform of Marks.