WATER VALLEY, Miss. (WTVA) -- It's visitation day for Shirley Thomas. She's coming to see her son who is incarcerated at the Yalobusha County jail.
She would like the conditions to be better and a new jail will make that happen.
"Sometimes old buildings need a lot of work, but a new facility will help out a lot," said Thomas.
The old one is becoming a rare sight these days. It can house 24 inmates. It's a tight squeeze most of the time.
"Right now, they're having to deal with the old toilets and the old lavatories," Deputy Sheriff Billy Flippin said.
Better conditions are on the way.
In just a matter of days, foundation work will begin on the new Yalobusha County Jail which is 10,000 square feet and on the 2,400 square foot Yalobusha County State Inmate Work Center.
For years, county officials have tried to come up with a way to build a new facility.
"I think every supervisor on the board wanted to throw their hands up in the air at one time or another," said Yalobusha County Board of Supervisors President Tommy Vaughn.
No one wanted a jail near their home. Then there was also the expense of providing utilities to a new facility.
Finally, that was worked out on some five acres of land south of Water Valley.
"We're ready to get it built and get through with it," said Vaughn.
The $3 million project is being paid for over a 20 year period using money they previously spent on payments for a local nursing home.
The county also has $400,000 to pay toward the project.
All this comes with no increase in taxes.
"We had a lot of hurdles to cross before we got here because Yalobusha County is a small county and we've got a limited amount of taxpayers in the county," added Vaughn.
The new jail and work center will have a total of 61 beds.
Eighteen of the 22 beds in the work center are hoped to be filled as soon as possible. County officials say those inmates will assist with numerous tasks including trash pickup.