TUPELO, Miss. — A northeast Mississippi county could build a $51 million jail that would hold three times more inmates than today’s 200-bed jail.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports that Lee County supervisors on Monday set the plan for a final vote on Aug. 21, following a public hearing next week.

County supervisors had discussed a referendum on the question, but most appear to now lean away from a countywide vote. Only Supervisor Tommie Lee Ivy opposed presenting the plan at a public hearing, saying he still wants a referendum.

Architects propose a 600-bed facility immediately north of the current jail, including courtrooms and a crime lab.

Supervisor Phil Morgan sought a 500-bed jail, estimated to cut $4 million from construction costs. But Sheriff Jim Johnson says he wants the additional cells.

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