Madison County supervisors are planning to spend up to $3.5 million to build the largest drivers license station in the state of Mississippi, according to one county supervisor. 

Supervisors passed a resolution at the end of March to spend up to $3.5 million for construction of both a licensing and testing station in Canton on the grounds where the county’s Emergency Management Agency is located off Highway 22. 

The project will be funded by Madison County taxpayers and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety will not pay rent to use the building. In addition, supervisors voted unanimously to pay the utility bills at the meeting. 

Last Monday, Gluckstadt resident Walter McKay objected to the use of taxpayer money to construct the building during the “Concerned Citizens” portion of the meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

“I object to using our tax funds to fund a building for the state,” McKay said. “DPS should get their money from the state coffers to fund this building.”

McKay noted that there were roads in different districts that aren’t being paved because there’s no money, yet the board is willing to spend millions on a state project. 
“It’s not right for us to fund something the state is gonna use for free,” he said. 

District 4 Supervisor David Bishop said this will be a “mega station,” the largest in the state. He said DPS was already committing $1.2 million to put in 12 different stations in the building. 

“We need a licensing station in Madison County,” Bishop said, noting it takes half a day just to get a license at the headquarters in Jackson. 

Bishop said this was a service to all citizens of Madison County and it will come from a separate funding source, likely the general fund or borrowing. 

Supervisors are awaiting a contract with DPS that includes staffing requirements, but last week went ahead and approved initial survey work for the site. 

Major Ken Brown, the director of Driver Service Bureau, told supervisors that they received an appropriation of $3.5 million from the Legislature for the next year that will allow them to adequately fill personnel positions and ensure the station is fully-staffed. 

Brown said the building will likely take a minimum of 14 employees, but he envisions at least 21.

Brown said the building should hold close to 200 people once completed.