The Madison County Board of Supervisors may soon determine whether or not to build a 30-bed juvenile detention center with a price tag of approximately $5 million.

Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker and County Judges Staci O’Neal and Ed Hannan presented supervisors last Monday with preliminary options on what can be done about overcrowding in facilities outside the county that it has used for a flat fee.

In the past, Madison has paid a fee to send arrested juveniles to Rankin, Yazoo, Adams, LeFlore and Warren counties. 

Rankin County recently increased its fee to $350 a day, per inmate. According to Tucker, the total cost to send all the juveniles there at that rate would be roughly $500,000 a year.

“There’s a statutory requirement that we either have our own facility or an agreement in place so we have somewhere to send these juveniles,” Tucker said. “I have never wanted to build (a juvenile detention center), because I would have to run it and there are all kinds of considerations and hurdles we would have to overcome.”

On top of the $5 million it would cost to construct and get the new facility up and running, Tucker estimated it would cost around $750,000 annually to operate.

O’Neal added that continuing to export detainees would render Madison’s law enforcement and judiciary decisions dependent on the number of beds available in other counties.

“At the end of the day, it’s about how many beds we have available,” O’Neal said. “If I get a call at 3 a.m. that they’ve arrested a juvenile who was burglarizing homes, I’ve got to have somewhere to put them or I’ve got to release them to their parents.”

District 5 Supervisor Paul Griffin offered a motion to get Tucker and County Administrator Shelton Vance to come up with exact numbers for what a new facility would cost versus the cost of paying the higher fee to send the juveniles to Rankin County.

In other action, the board:

• Authorized the county’s Public Works Department to spend up to $150,000 to overlay parts of Bozeman Road.

• Granted a 90-day extension for construction of a pond on Horseshoe Lane off of Livingston Vernon Road north of Flora.

• Renewed the appointment of Gerard Gilbert as an at-large member of the board of directors for the  Madison County Economic Development Authority.

• Approved the preliminary plat for Phase II of the the Lakes at Stapleton, a 31-lot subdivision off of Sowell Road, which will allow developers to bring the number of total lots to 100. Plans also include a clubhouse, pool, playground, green space and a common area for the subdivision.