Moss Point to build a new $4.5 million public safety building - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Moss Point to build a new $4.5 million public safety building

The city awarded a $4.5 million contract to build a new public safety building on Bellview Avenue next to the central fire station. (Photo source: WLOX News) The city awarded a $4.5 million contract to build a new public safety building on Bellview Avenue next to the central fire station. (Photo source: WLOX News)
MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) -

The days of constantly patching a leaky roof are coming to an end for Moss Point police. On Tuesday night the city awarded a $4.5 million contract to build a new public safety building on Bellview Avenue next to the central fire station.

Officials say the two-story, 14,000-square-foot building will be state of the art. 

No longer able to keep the rainwater out, a year and a half ago Moss Point police were forced to stop keeping inmates in the city jail. The police chief says while it's the worst of section of the building, there are problems all around. 

"We have a lot of leaky places in the building," said Chief Art McClung. "The building is just old, it's a really old building." 

Another issue — not enough space especially in the evidence room and the municipal courtroom. 

"You come here on Tuesdays on court day, some people are wrapped around the building," said Chief McClung. "We won't have that issue any more. We'll have enough seating for people to come and sit and sit comfortably. Some of the offices that you go in are extremely small. Our dispatch area is cramped and small so we'll be able to spread out a little bit." 

Moss Point's mayor says no one should have to work in the conditions the officers are working in, and he's proud of how the staff has been making the best of the situation.

The upcoming move to a new facility on Bellview almost didn't happen because Moss Point almost lost out on federal and state grant money for failing to meet required timelines. 

Mayor Broomfield noted, "Myself and some of the other aldermen drove to Jackson to assure that we were going to dot the i's and cross the t's and make sure we did what we were required to do. They believed us and they gave us another opportunity. So we did not lose the funds and that was really critical because Moss Point didn't have those funds in their budget." 

The police chief says the new building will be beneficial to the morale of the officers and the entire community.

 "When you drive down Main Street and you see this building, honestly who could be proud of it?" said McClung. "To build that new building is something that the citizens of Moss Point can be proud of." 

Officials expect to break ground in December, and to have the project completed by the end of 2016. By building it with future growth in mind, leaders expect the new public safety building to be a source of pride for many years to come.

The new public safety will have holding cells but not include a jail. Moss Point officials say the city will continue its arrangement with Jackson County to house its inmates as it's more economical.

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