Coca-Cola property donated to Jackson County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Coca-Cola property donated to Jackson County

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

By Sylvia Hall – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - On Highway 57, just north of I-10, lies the local home of Coca Cola Consolidated Company. County Supervisor John McKay said the six acres beside it could become home to a county development. 

"We discovered the property back doing researching sites for a jail," said McKay, about the property, which he said was actually listed as Jackson County property.  "The county had a lease with Coca Cola Company many, many years ago, that they could pay the purchase price over a long period of time and at the end of that period, they could buy the property for one dollar. Well, they never exercised that option of actually buying the property for one dollar."

McKay worked with Coca Cola Consolidated Co.'s Territory Sales Manager Keith Watson to get the land donated to Jackson County.

"It's really no use to us at all, so it's really good to see it go to some good use," said Watson.

McKay said a donation of that size is rare in Jackson County.

"We buy large chunks of land for a lot of different things," said McKay.  "For example, we bought the Fair Elementary School property for the jail, and we bought property for the ball parks and things. And we occasionally buy large pieces of land, but it's very unusual to get a large piece of land for such a little amount of money."

Now that the property is in county hands, the question is what to do with it.  McKay listed several possible options.

"Talking about [making the property] the Highway Patrol station" said McKay.  "Over there in Pascagoula they are very, very limited in a trailer over there.  Another is possibly is moving our Civil Defense building over here where it will be centrally located in Jackson County, and just a Justice Court complex could possibly be located here so we're looking at several different options for the property."

McKay said even though county officials found this property in search of a new jail site, a county jail will not be going there.  He said there are certain aspects of this property that preclude it from consideration.

"It's not large enough," said McKay. "It's got a lot of wetlands on it that will not give us enough room for a jail site."

Whatever the purpose, Wilson said he's glad Jackson County is in the neighborhood.

"[If] you're going to have a neighbor, then what a better way to have than the county," said Watson.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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