CATEGORY: SUP Lee Board of SupervisorsMOULDE

HED:Juvenile center bonds meet with no objections

By Philip Moulden

Daily Journal

Lee County supervisors voted to press ahead with a bond issue to fund a new juvenile detention center after no objections were received at a public hearing Monday.

"There have been no questions or comment provided verbally or in writing to this office," County Administrator Ronnie Bell said.

Supervisors have approved a $1.5 million bond sale to help fund the proposed $1.7 million project.

The new juvenile center would be built on the site of the Lee County/Tupelo Adult Jail off Commerce Street and house up to 26 youths.

Bond work is expected to be completed by July 8 and bidding on the project should be held in August, officials said.

Officials said the debt on the new bonds will be offset by savings from lower interest rates through reissuing bonds sold in the early 1990s to fund the adult jail and the county's Agri-Center. The county already has about $200,000 on hand to put into the project.

No new taxes will be required to fund the juvenile facility, Board of Supervisors attorney Bill Beasley said.

In other action, the board named Terry Carlock, vice commander for VFW Post 4057 in Tupelo, to succeed Hazel Brandon as the county's veterans service officer.

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Carlock, 50, served in the U.S. Army from 1968-70. Bell said the selection was made after interviews with three candidates submitted by various veterans organizations in the county.

"We now have a candidate that the majority of veterans organizations want to present to you today," Bell told supervisors. "We had three very good applicants and it was a hard choice to make."

"All we ask is to be good to all the veterans that need help," board President Billy Davis told Carlock.

Brandon is retiring after 26 years with the county. Her last day is scheduled to be Thursday.

Supervisors also approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Baldwyn to build a road in the North Lee Industrial Park and a resolution asking that the Legislature direct that the state's license plates be made by Mississippi prisoners.

If the state attorney general signs off on the interlocal pact, the county would funnel $52,092 to Baldwyn to help pay for the industrial park road. Baldwyn received a grant for much of the work on the proposed $288,268 project, but a portion that lies on county land was not covered under the grant.

Leon Marcy, who sits on the state prison industry board, urged supervisors to back a proposal to make car tags in a state prison.

The tags are currently made by prisoners in Canada through a bid process. The Canadian bid was only a nickel a tag cheaper than Mississippi's prison bid, he said.

"We're trying to get prisoners out of their cells and working," Marcy said. "We'd be putting 300 inmates to work in the prison making tags."

Marcy said his organization is trying to get all 82 of the state's county boards of supervisors to adopt the resolution.

"I'm with you. Our prisoners should be doing it," District 3 Supervisor Charles Duke said.

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