Board of Supervisors seek appraisal on building for MHP office

Published 7:00 pm Monday, February 26, 2018

The Mississippi Highway Patrol driver’s license bureau may have a new home soon, and remain in Vicksburg.

During their work session Monday, the Warren County Board of Supervisors discussed hiring an appraiser to assess the value of a piece property located at 1100 Belmont St., at the corner of Drummond Street. The site is the former Lauderdale State Farm Insurance Agency.

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County officials and members of the MHP examined the site last week and “they were pleased,” according to board president Richard George with the location.

According to George, some modifications to existing bathrooms would have to be done before officers of the MHP could move into the facility. The location also has abundant parking, according to George.

Safety and other concerns at the highway safety patrol examination station on Grove Street were brought to the attention of the supervisors late last year by the MHP, who have threatened to close the Vicksburg office and relocate out of the county.

In November, MHP Lt. Ola Kirk, who took over as Region Director of Driver Services in September, told the supervisors during a work session the facility — which is provided for at no cost by the county — did not pass the requirements of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

Kirk brought a long list of issues with the current facility and what is required.

The waiting area only has nine chairs when there is a minimum of 25 required for visitor seating. There must be a public bathroom, as well as a private bathroom for employees. The bathroom that is available is also not sanitary, according to Kirk. The facility must have a minimum of 21 parking spaces for visitors and one handicap parking space. She said there is also only one way in and out of the facility, meaning there is no escape route for employees.

The Warren County MHP office serves as many as 1,600 people each month, according to information the supervisors have received from MHP officials. But it’s not just people in Warren County being served. MHP says the Vicksburg location also serves Mississippi drivers in Claiborne, Issaquena, western Hinds, southern Yazoo and southern Sharkey counties.

Kirk indicated to the board in November that Sharkey County officials would accommodate MHP with an office.

The Board of Supervisors is expected to take up the matter of hiring an appraiser at their regularly scheduled meeting Monday at 9 a.m. in the Warren County Courthouse.