MPD Renovation Latest

By: Andrea Williams Email
By: Andrea Williams Email

The Meridian City Council was prepared to vote Tuesday on a new lease for the renovation project for the new police station, but that plan was brought to a screeching halt! Council president, Barbara
Henson, says the issue was taken off Tuesday's agenda because council members had not received a copy of the new proposed lease agreement within enough time to properly review it.

'Our attorneys, the mayor's office, everyone on this end has complete what they recommend and put it in writing, but we have not had the agreement of Mr. Watkins, or any of his proposals. I don't have it and they (other city officials) don't have it either. When they e-mail them or fax them there's a change here and a change there and by the time we get them it's too late for a public meeting.'

Because of a lack of funds and bonding capacity, the renovation effort is the first ever lease to purchase project for the city of Meridian. What this means is that currently the city does not have any direct control over the project. The city will only gain control of what happens at the building when the renovations are finished and it starts paying rent.

Meanwhile, once the project gets the green light, Councilwoman Henson says officials with Watkins Development, which is the consulting firm overseeing the project, say the work should go smoothly.

'From what Mr. Watkins told us, now we have a local contractor and that's going to work out good and of course it's financed by a local bank.'

Stalled since earlier this year, Henson says if the council approves the new lease, when Tuesday's recessed meeting continues Friday, work can resume immediately.

'When I have that paper in my hands, I'll be optimistic.'

The site for the new Meridian Police Department is the old Cowboy Maloney's building on 22nd Avenue. Renovations started a little over a year ago, but were halted due to money woes and a delay in tax credits earlier this year. The project was initially set to be finished by spring of this year.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Question? on Jun 21, 2012 at 10:45 AM
    Hey did the City ever pay Watkins the $1million dollar down payment from the seized drug funds. Why not just repair the current police station built in early 1970s. Last time I was in the police station I it was so cold I had chill bumps. I thought TOK reported on a new AC unit being installed at MPD. So why is it being reported that they don't have AC.
  • by R. U. Serious Location: maridian on Jun 21, 2012 at 05:08 AM
    A shame our learned educators on the city council and the local news media have not investigated the history of Watkins and how he held the City of Jackson hostage with their development. What happened to his awaiting "tax refunds" for taxes never paid or extra charges for wiring and data cabeling ? Another Meridian BoonDoogle !
  • by Kenny Location: Meridian on Jun 20, 2012 at 04:21 PM
    Hopefully, the mayor will not do like she did to the city hall, and have them paint areas that was not historic correct, and cost another huge overrun in final price.
  • by Peabody Location: Valley Road on Jun 20, 2012 at 02:28 PM
    New police station in 2020 at this rate if cops are luckly. Raze an old nonhistoric building and build a modern building downtown. If Watkins doesn't have the capital to do the job get a real company and get it done. Bottom line QUIT PLAYING GAMES.
  • by Peabody Location: Valley Road on Jun 20, 2012 at 02:28 PM
    New police station in 2020 at this rate if cops are luckly. Raze an old nonhistoric building and build a modern building downtown. If Watkins doesn't have the capital to do the job get a real company and get it done. Bottom line QUIT PLAYING GAMES.
WTOK-TV 815 23rd Ave Meridian, Ms. 39301 Phone: (601) 693-1441
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 159749935 - wtok.com/a?a=159749935
Gray Television, Inc.