Warren County supervisors narrow list of potential jail sites down to two

Published 7:18 pm Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Warren County officials are moving closer to choosing one of two sites for the proposed new jail.

The Warren County Board of Supervisors have budgeted $1.2 million to purchase property for the new jail.

During Monday’s work session, the supervisors heard from Stantec’s Brian Robbins and John McKee about both proposed sites for the jail.

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One of the sites is a 50-acre tract located off Old Highway 27 between Miss. 27 and Berryman Road. The second, known as the Pine Woods property, is a 47-acre site off U.S. 80 and near the site of the former Pine Woods Hotel.

The Old Highway 27 site is the closest to city utilities and is less than one mile from the Vicksburg city limits, and will be served by the new city fire station being built on Berryman Road. The site also has a functioning traffic signal and infrastructure.

The site on U.S. 80 would require the demolition of some structures, as well as clearing the property of several mobile homes and may also require turn lanes from the highway.

McKee said it would take approximately 5,000 feet of sewer to reach city utilities from the Pine Woods site and cost around $220,000 after upgrading the pumping stations.

The cost to run sewer would be less expensive from the Berryman Road site. The shortest route is approximately 1,300 feet near the YMCA building and cost around $155,000.

McKee favors the Berryman Road site.

“It’s a much easier site to build on,” McKee told the board.

Board of Supervisors President Richard George asked which site would require less maintenance. McKee said there are less pumping stations to deal with at the Berryman Road site.

“My concern is the long-term cost,” George said. “The shorter distance of transfer, the better off you are.”

McKee said a lot of details about running sewer from either site would have to be worked out with the city. Rights of way will also have to be worked out at both locations. The county will also have to go through the appraisal process before making an offer on either proposed site.

A new jail for the county has been the topic of discussion by the board for many years, and George said at a joint meeting of the supervisors and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen earlier this year that the county wants to begin construction on a new facility in 2019. George said in June the board is looking for about 50 to 60 acres to accommodate the new jail with room for future growth. He questioned whether the 50-acre site off Old highway 27 was suitable because it is too close to a subdivision.