CORINTH-ALCORN COUNTY OFFICIALS LOOK AT ALTERNATIVE SITE FOR JU

CATEGORY: Alcorn County

AUTHOR: SUMMER

CORINTH-ALCORN COUNTY OFFICIALS LOOK AT ALTERNATIVE SITE FOR JUVENILE CENTER

By Jane Clark Summers

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – An old floodplain problem at the proposed site for a juvenile detention center has forced officials to look at an alternate site. The move, however, is being seen as a blessing rather than an obstacle.

The Alcorn County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to ask Cook Coggin Engineering to provide a topographic map of county property on Golden Drive and Norman Road.

The joint city-county project was to be built on Fulton Drive Extended next to the county jail. But when officials checked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make sure the site was OK, they were told that a certificate was also needed from the Corps of Engineers, said Board President Ely Mitchell.

A FEMA representative assured the board three years ago that the Fulton Drive site would be suitable if fill dirt was brought in to raise the level above floodplain, Mitchell said. When officials checked last week, however, they found that new maps showed the site was actually located in a floodway, which is more prone to severe flooding.

It would cost more to correct the problems on Fulton Drive than to locate the facility on the recently acquired Golden Drive property in West Hills, Mitchell said. The county purchased about 107 acres, part of which will be used to construct a multipurpose building.

The western portion of the property, about 15-20 acres, could be used for the juvenile detention center now and a joint city-county justice complex in the future, Mitchell said. City officials have been updated on the site changes and are in concurrence, he said.

Plans should be designed to accommodate future growth, Mitchell said.

The new site is better anyway “if we are thinking about combining a city and county justice complex,” said 1st District Supervisor Lamar Fields. “That is coming and there are no ifs, ands or buts.”

The same personnel cannot work at the juvenile center and at the sheriff’s department, Mitchell said. The only problem will be that meals will have to be delivered to the facility from the jail, he said.

The 5,000-square-foot prefabricated facility, being built by Steel Plex of Jackson, is expected to be completed by June. The $600,000 project is being jointly funded by the city of Corinth and Alcorn County. With an expected $111,000 grant from the state, the city and county will share equally the remaining $489,000.

Nine pods will accommodate four female and 10 male inmates. There will be two additional isolation or holding cells.

The facility will contain a warming kitchen, medical and body search room, a social worker’s office, a booking area, two visiting rooms, waiting room, multipurpose room, central office for the jailer and a fenced exercise yard.

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