Outstanding warrants cost Miss. town big bucks

Published 11:46 pm Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Officials in Petal say thousands of outstanding warrants dating back years are costly for the small town.

Municipal Court Clerk Michelle Strebeck says the city has accrued nearly 3,200 outstanding warrants on its records dating to before 2001.

Strebeck estimated $800,000 in lost revenue, nearly $250 per warrant.

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Strebeck said one offender owes more than $4,000 in delinquent fines.

Alderman David Clayton said Petal only has one warrant officer and a tight budget prevents the city from hiring another.

Alderman James Moore says Forrest County needs to finish construction of its new jail, so there will be more space to lock up offenders who don’t pay their fines.