Not everyone happy about possible DeSoto jail site - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Not everyone happy about possible DeSoto jail site

By Chip Washington - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - DeSoto County officials are finalizing a new spot for their jail, but not everyone is thrilled with the locations.  After spending nine months considering 10 potential new sites, a recommendation has finally been made by the jail selection committee.

Although it is not something that makes Hernando city officials happy, they are willing to work toward a reasonable solution.

"They had two sites in the city of Hernando," Mayor Chip Johnson said. "One is the existing site for expansion, and the other one is 22 acres over in the industrial park. So knowing that, it kind of limits my options of fighting."

Not that Johnson wants to fight with anybody, but an Attorney General's ruling says the county jail must be in the DeSoto County seat, Hernando.  

Even though the committee recommends the expansion plan, Johnson believes the industrial site would be the best place for a new facility. 

"It's located over near the interstate and already zoned for industry," he said. "It's not going to impact anyone adversely, and I feel certain the jail will probably always be here."

Both DeSoto County and Hernando city officials must now work together to see if the expansion plan is feasible.

County Administrator Michael Garriga says now that a selection has been made, the real work will begin..

"We'll solicit proposals from experts and professional services," he said. "You gotta get your architects and engineers on board to design the facility, so we've come a long way."

Garriga hopes to have completed architectural drawings by next spring, and to possibly begin the bid process by next summer. If the expansion plan doesn't work, the county will use the industrial site instead.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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