CANTON — The Mississippi Department of Public Safety has identified a location for a new drivers license testing facility here, situated on the grounds currently housing Madison County’s Emergency Management Agency, County Administrator Shelton Vance said Wednesday. 

The building would be located on West Peace Street near Highway 22 and I-55.

In November, county supervisors voted unanimously to move forward with designing architectural plans for a new building. 

Vance said the county met with DPS officials and looked at a number of sites and existing buildings, but none had a big enough building or parking space to accommodate DPS’ expected needs.

“They’ve looked at other locations,” Vance said. “None of the other locations have the building space and they parking they anticipate. 

“There was a time when they were considering the WIN Job Center, but they are no longer considering that location,” he continued. “(The EMA) site is the only one they’re interested in.”

Vance said they are currently putting together plans that would accommodate 200 people per day, based on DPS’ request. He said DPS anticipates this would be a site used not only by Madison County residents, but by residents in nearby counties as well. 

When the topic was first discussed by supervisors a couple of years ago, Vance told board members at the time that if the county constructed a building, DPS would pay rent that would offset the cost. 

On Wednesday, Vance said that was no longer the case. 

“They are wanting a building with no rent,” he said. 

Vance said there were no cost estimates at this time. 

On Tuesday, Vance updated supervisors on the progress of the building, saying they had initial designs and would be meeting with DPS officials in the upcoming weeks to go over those plans. 

District 4 Supervisor David Bishop has been a big proponent of getting a drivers license testing facility in Madison County. 

“I think the county should do whatever is within reason to get them into Madison County,” He said. “I just want to get them here. It’s going to be good for everybody.”

Vance said it would take a year-and-a-half before the building is occupied.