New Jackson Co. DPS driver's license office in works to replace aging building

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Department of Public Safety (DPS) licensing building in Pascagoula and it's not in the best shape.

"It's actually rundown and outdated," Supervisor John McKay said.

"When it rains and we have bad weather, it generally floods," Mississippi Highway Patrol's Mike Bullock said.

Those are not the only problems at the Pascagoula facility. With more 100 people walking through the door daily, it is easy for the place to get overcrowded in such a tight space.

"You're separated by two rooms. They [employees] have to yell out numbers to get people to come in there to assist them," Mississippi Highway Patrol's Jay Kelly said. "The testing machines are in an environment where it can be loud, so it doesn't provide someone a quiet place to take a test," Kelly said.

The county now has the green light to help fund a new facility.

The building will be a $430,000 project, not including the land. And it's about a 2,000 square-foot modern facility that you will be able to get your driver's license and work with the highway patrol any other issues you may have.

This DPS office will also move to a more centralized location in the county.

"We are located on Highway 57, about a quarter of a mile off of Interstate 10 and adjacent to the Coca-Cola Plant. Several years ago, I worked with the Coca-Cola Company to actually have this piece of property donated about seven acres," McKay said.

"You have a greater population in Ocean Springs and St. Martin, and the areas in Pascagoula and Moss Point. It's a little bit more centrally located in the county," Bullock said.

Mississippi Highway Patrol and the county officials are both eagerly anticipating opening day because they believe the DPS employees will now be able to serve customers more efficiently than they can now.

"It is just going to be a bigger space, people won't feel so cramped," McKay said.

McKay said the new facility in Gautier should be move in ready by Fall.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.