District Attorney Scott Colom will move his staff into new Columbus office space in October.
The Lowndes County Board of Supervisors approved a lease for the property, located at 522 2nd Avenue N. across from Lowndes County Courthouse, during its Friday meeting. Clay, Noxubee and Oktibbeha counties — the other counties included in the 16th circuit court district Colom represents –agreed to split costs to support the lease and utilities.
The lease for the office space, owned by the estate of Frank Lee, will cost $2,500 per month, plus utilities. The lease will run through 2019.
“I asked Scott to go to the other three counties and get them to commit to sharing in the cost of the lease,” County Administrator Ralph Billingsley said. “He has done that. He has a letter here saying that Oktibbeha has agreed to 33.3 percent, Clay has agreed to their 15 (and) Noxubee has agreed to their 9. That leaves us at our 42.7 percent.”
Billingsley said Colom wanted to move into the new office space in August. However, with the nearby Waters building scheduled to be demolished, he said he thought it would be more prudent to set a September date for the DA’s office to begin moving into the building.
Board President Harry Sanders suggested, with agreement from other supervisors, that the county set an Oct. 1 date to coincide with the start of each county’s fiscal year.
“That will give them plenty of time, and we don’t have to amend our budget this year,” Sanders said.
Colom, on Saturday, said he was thankful to the boards from each county and to Billingsley for his help in the process.
Colom said the building behind Lowndes County Courthouse that now headquarters his staff is old, and the county has wanted to demolish it for some time.
“Anybody who’s been in that building knows it really doesn’t have proper working conditions,” he said. “I think this support will make the working environment for my staff much more productive and enjoyable. I really appreciate the support we’ve gotten from each county in the district.”
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.
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