The Lee County Board of Supervisors voted against building a new jail, citing the estimated $51 million cost, which would force a tax increase.
In a surprise 3-2 vote Monday morning, the supervisors voted to stay in the current 202-bed facility, which will have to be significantly renovated. With the action, Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said he will be forced to start releasing current inmates from municipalities throughout the county to reduce overcrowding.
Daily Journal law enforcement reporter William Moore (5:56) joins Leslie Criss and Chris Kieffer on today’s episode to give the latest on the situation and discuss what might happen next.
Also on today’s episode, local government reporter Caleb Bedillion (20:47) talks about a plan to expand Tupelo’s West Jackson Street as part of the city’s Major Thoroughfare Program.
The work would include the addition of a turn lane between Clayton Street and Robins Street/ Highland Circle, as well as a sidewalk. Total project costs are currently estimated between $3 million and $3.5 million – significantly higher than the initial cost estimate of $540,000 – but the work remains a priority of city leaders.
City and MTP leaders say the widening project is necessary to help with traffic. But some residents are concerned about how it will impact homes and businesses that are located close to West Jackson.
Capitol Bureau Chief Bobby Harrison (30:09) has an update on efforts by legislative leaders to rewrite Mississippi’s school funding formula.
Both House Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves made a splash last October when they announced they were hiring New Jersey-based consultant EdBuild to help rewrite the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. But those efforts stalled during the legislative session.
Both Gunn and Reeves told Bobby there will be renewed efforts to rewrite the funding formula in the coming months, with the goal to be ready before the 2018 legislative session. But, Bobby notes, building consensus will not be easy.
And Daily Journal photographer Lauren Wood (39:46) talks about her recent photo essay on a Mixed Martial Arts event in Tupelo.