Adams Co. officials OK publishing interest in building prison

Published 8:05 pm Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Supervisors in Adams County have agreed to publish notices outlining the proposals of two companies wanting to locate a prison in this southwest Mississippi county.

The GEO Group of Boca Raton, Fla., and Corrections Corporation of America of Nashville are competing for a federal contract to house minimum-security prisoners.

On Monday, the board of supervisors voted 3-2 to publish a legal notice required for any potential correctional facility in the state. The notice lists the location, nature and size of the facility, the type of inmates and the identity of the company.

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Supervisors have said The GEO Group is considering a location at the Natchez-Adams County Airport.

CCA is looking at a tract of private land along U.S. 84 in northeast Adams County. CCA is also considering a site in Pike and Walthall counties.

Supervisor Henry Watts, who voted against the requests, said he did not like the county airport location.

The other supervisor who voted no, F.E. “Spanky” Felter, said he wanted to wait until after a Feb. 21 public hearing before a notice was published.

The publication must run for three weeks and the companies want to act on the federal contract in time to take advantage of the Gulf Opportunity Zone, which provides benefits to business owners in areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The companies said one of the GO-Zone requirements is that in order to receive the benefits, the facility must be in operation by Dec. 31, 2008.