Pass-It-On building to serve as Clay County Court Complex

By: 
Mary Rumore
Staff Writer

The Clay County Board of Supervisors unanimously accepted a motion to acquire, renovate and lease the Pass-It-On building to serve as the Clay County Court Complex during Thursday morning’s meeting.

Board President Shelton Deanes said the estimated cost of the renovation project is $3 million, and the estimated cost of building a new building would be over $5 million, which saves tax payers $2 million.

Deanes said the county will enter into a 20-year lease agreement with Golden Triangle Public Leasing Corporation to pay for the project, and the annual payment of the lease will be $250,000 to $35,000 out of the general fund.

The renovated complex will feature 27,294 square feet of space to be used as two courtrooms with jury boxes and the ability to hold 100 people. There will be a third courtroom with no jury box that can hold 85 people. Each courtroom will have state of the art equipment, including AVL systems which will allow dangerous prisoners to be teleconferenced in from the jail into the courtroom as opposed to having to appear in the courtroom. The complex will also have adequate parking. The building will also have separate entrances and offices for the judge’s staff and district attorney’s staff, conference room, grand jury rooms and separate entrances for prisoners. The complex will be 3,354 square feet of space still available for future expansion.

“A building such as this is a huge need for our county,” Deanes said. “Currently when you come to the courthouse, there is no parking, and the courthouse does not adequately accommodate the people that come along with the court.”

Deans said Clay County is the only county in the district with only one court room equipped with a jury box, which causes dockets to become backlogged.

OTHER BUSINESS

During yesterday’s meeting, the Clay County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion to send a resolution to the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District for the City of West Point to repair the bridge on Plaza Drive behind Wendy’s.

Mayor Robbie Robinson said the bridge was currently closed due to unsafe conditions.

The board also unanimously approved an imaging contract with Revolution Data Systems to image land records and deeds to build a database that will be published on the website.

“This contract will take us all the way to 2006,” Chancery Clerk Amy Berry said. “Hopefully in 2018 we can go back a little bit more, and over time we’ll build up a great database. It’s all about convenience, service and accessability.”

The board unanimously approved a quote of $2,339 for the MSWIN Mobile for an emergency radio to be used be the Clay County Sheriff’s Department.

Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott said the MSWIN Mobile radio would be used to communicate with law enforcement, military and other emergency personnel across the state in the case of an emergency when other radio or cell phone reception is unavailable.

The board recessed until 9 a.m. on Aug. 29.

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