Alcorn residents fight halfway house

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – Property owners from the northwestern corner of Alcorn County, bordering the Tippah County line and the Hardeman County, Tenn. line, asked the Board of Supervisors on Monday for help in preventing a halfway house being established in their community.
One of those property owners, Charles Tomlinson Jr., also made a request that the supervisors took under advisement for research and possible action.
Both issues arise from a claim that Jesus Name Community Church is negotiating to establish a halfway house on property in the community.
According to Tomlinson, a representative of the church told him that access to his home on County Road 772A crosses property of Jesus’ Name church, and he could be denied access to that road if those plans move forward.
The board asked attorney Bill Davis to research the status of the road to determine if it has been legally accepted as a county road, after which they can discuss with Tomlinson what options he may have.
With regard to the issue of a halfway house being brought into the community, property owner Ronald Norcross read a prepared statement asking the board to “take whatever steps possible to ensure the community’s safety and to anyone else who can help deter the introduction of this potential threat into our community.”
Presenting another aspect of the issue, Roger Wilbanks spoke on behalf of the heirs of his grandfather, Herman Wilbanks. Herman Wilbanks, he said, deeded property to Jesus’ Name Holiness Community Church in the 1950s for construction of the church, with a reversion clause if the property was ever no longer used as a church. The reversion clause, Roger Wilbanks said, would return the property to Herman Wilbanks’ heirs.
The question of property ownership and use among the private owners involved in this discussion is not something that falls within the purview of the board of supervisors to address, Davis told the group.
lena.mitchell@journalinc.com