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Adams County jail feasibility plan authorized

NATCHEZ — Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said Monday his office is eyeing the former Johns-Manville industrial site and the Natchez-Adams County Port area as potential locations for a new county jail.

Though not committing to any future plans, the Adams County Board of Supervisors voted to approve Mayfield’s request to allow correctional consulting company Benchmark to complete a feasibility study to determine if the county needs a new jail.

Built in the 1970s, the county jail is not in line with current correctional standards, Mayfield said.

“I think it is time we get back to standards somehow,” he said.

The Benchmark study will be completed at no cost to the county, Mayfield said, unless construction moves forward. If the county moves to build a new jail, Benchmark will assess a fee for the study.

The sheriff said Monday he could not recall the exact cost of the fee.

When the supervisors asked Mayfield where the new facility would be located, he said it would need to be on a site of approximately 10 acres, and his office was considering the Johns-Manville area on Liberty Road, the former International Paper property and other port locations.

“I don’t think there is going to be any place downtown,” he said.

The new jail would ideally incorporate the justice court system into its structure, Mayfield said.

“Simpson County has their justice court in the complex,” he said. “They can march (prisoners) out of their cells, into the courtroom and right back.”

In other news:

4The board adopted a resolution declaring October Breast Cancer Awareness Month for Adams County.

4The board adopted a resolution of thanks for Natchez-Adams County Metro Narcotics, thanking them for their work.

“Metro has already far surpassed their goals for the year,” Mayfield said. “Since they have been working, property crimes have gone down and violent crime in the county has gone down.”

4Assistant Fire Coordinator Darryl Smith said this week is fire prevention week, and all of the county volunteer fire department stations would have an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The fire departments are looking to recruit new volunteers, Smith said, and next month the county will start a certification process for all volunteers.

“We have a lot of volunteers, but we are still just getting a few to show up to the calls for us,” he said. “We have 20-30 volunteers in an area, but we have only five to six show up for a fire for us.”