Supervisors ready to move onto next phase of jail site

Published 8:00 pm Friday, March 1, 2019

The Warren County Board of Supervisors is preparing to move onto the next phase in constructing a new jail facility.

The structures, including the old Pinewood Hotel, have been cleared from the property on Highway 80 and grass has been placed for erosion control. But a pond on the 47-acre site must be drained. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, which issues permits for work on the jail site, has offered to drain the pond at no cost.

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Board president Richard George said draining the pond will be the next phase, but the supervisors must also get with Sheriff Martin Pace and formulate the type of facility that is needed.

George said Pace plans to look at other facilities very soon and draw upon their ideas before hiring an architect.

“We need his input and direction as far as design and layout,” George said. “The sooner that’s done, the sooner we can start.”

County administrator John Smith said Pace is scheduled to speak to the board at their next work session March 11.

In June 2018, the county voted unanimously to buy the property for $400,000, which is $29,000 more than the appraised value.

The 350-bed facility is expected to be paid through a bond issue in the range of $18-20 million, George has said in the past.

For several years, the county has been looking at building a new jail facility to house city and county inmates to replace the current 100-year-old jail.

The supervisors will have their regular meeting Monday at 9 a.m. in their boardroom on the third floor of the Warren County Courthouse.