TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Following the proposal for an expansion plan for the Lee County Library, some are questioning why an expansion plan for the Lee County Jail was denied this year.
"Education leads into jobs, jobs lead into tax money, and it's just a circle, but you've got to help people that can't help themselves, too," said 3rd District Supervisor Tony Roper.
A 10.3 million dollar expansion plan for the county library was brought to the Board of Supervisors Monday morning. In the past year, an 8 million dollar expansion plan to the Lee County Adult Detention Center has been denied twice.
"We don't know about running libraries but we do know about running jail facilities.," said Chief Deputy John Hall. "[Sheriff Jim Johnson] just hopes that that is not reason that we can't still address the very needed issues we have with the sheriff's department and the current jail facility."
The Lee County Library has not updated since 1969, but the jail has overcrowding and employees seek space outside of the building to work.
"We've had to utilize the old juvenile detention center to store records because we don't have space over here," said Hall.
"It sounds good and you know you'd be doing the right thing but from the heart, our jails need to be looked at a little more closely," said Mike Stratton, a Tupelo resident.
Others say the library needs the renovation to keep more people from going to jail. And some say the discussion is comparing apples and oranges.
Through a media release posted to the Lee County Sheriff's Department Facebook page, Sheriff Johnson expressed he is "confident the Lee County Board of Supervisors will do what they believe is best when it comes to the expansion of the Lee County Library and the accompanying tax increase it will require." Adding, the sheriff's department is "hopeful the board will continue trying to address the very needed issue of a new sheriff's office and jail facility."