By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – The old Alcorn County Jail is destined for continued service with remodeling that supervisors plan to begin soon.
The supervisors toured the building Monday to assess what work is needed and will use funds approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to repair damage from May 2010 floods to perform the work. The funds are designated to be used only for repairs to the building.
“We’re going to go ahead and try to remodel the building with requirements FEMA imposed,” said Board of Supervisors President Lowell Hinton. “We really would like to go ahead and move the board meetings down there where it’s more accessible to handicapped for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance, and more parking.”
Discussions will continue at the next board meeting, Hinton said, but some board members would like to move board functions to the building with some staff offices.
“It’s not as crowded as in the chancery building,” Hinton said. “The old driver’s license area has more space for board meetings.”
About 5,000 square feet of the building formerly housed the Alcorn County Sheriff’s Department and the Mississippi Highway Patrol driver’s license office. The license office moved early last year to Corinth’s campus of Northeast Mississippi Community College, and the sheriff’s office moved later to the new Alcorn County Justice Center on South Harper Road. This does not include the jail cells, which will not be touched.
This first phase of renovation will be about 2,500 square feet, with another 2,000 square feet left for future expansion.
Supervisors recently discussed a request from Corinth’s probation office to consider renting them space in the building so they can move their offices closer into the city. They currently occupy rental space near the city limits on east U.S. Highway 72.
The building was damaged by flooding during the May 2010 storm that resulted in a federal disaster declaration. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to reimburse the county more than $43,000 to make repairs to the building as a result of that flood damage. Terms of the FEMA reimbursement also required the purchase of flood insurance, which has been done; replacement of walls from the floor and up four feet, including electrical outlets; and replacement of floor tiles.