Assisted-living facility approved in Lamar County

Assisted-living facility approved in Lamar County
Construction site/Photo credit: WDAM

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Lamar County Supervisors voted to approve the construction of an assisted living facility near the Lake Serene subdivision.

The supervisors voted Tuesday on the proposed facility that the county planning commission previously denied.

"There's a lot of positives here, this guy (Chance Evans) is going to make this investment in our county without a tax incentive," Lamar County District 1 Supervisor Steve Lampton said.

Supervisors voted 4-1 to approve the 45-bed facility, with District 4 Supervisor Phillip Carlisle voting against it.

The facility will be located on commercially zoned land, near the North Lake Serene Subdivision, off Mackerel Drive.

"The projected cost with construction of the facility is over $6 million, with a possibility of 15 and 20 jobs is what we were told, payroll probably half a million, $800,000 a year," Lampton said.

Regardless of the positive aspects, Lake Serene and Highpoint neighborhood residents have gathered over 200 signatures with concerns over the facility.

"Mackerel Drive is one of two access points to Lake Serene, one on 98 and the other coming from 4th Street," Lamar County Resident Dennis Webster said. "It's not that we are even against the facility, but we would like the access road to the facility to be moved to nearby Power Lane."

Webster said he and fellow residents want to preserve the integrity of the neighborhoods.

According to Lampton, Evans does not own the property connected to Power Lane, and he would have to gain access to that with the extra cost of constructing the road.

Lampton said the facility will not impact Mackerel Drive outside the construction period.

"At the end of the day when this facility is in use it will not have that big of an impact as far as traffic on Mackerel Drive," Lampton said.. "There will be some construction that goes along with this, and there will be some additional traffic on Mackerel Drive while the construction is going on, Mackerel Drive is used to that because they had construction there when they built Highpoint Subdivision."

Lampton said it may add a dozen or so cars a day through the street that already connects to nearby 4th Street.

"Mackerel Drive actually connects through all the way to 4th Street, so there's already a heavy use on Mackerel Drive, this might add a dozen cars a day, it's not like it's going to create a big bottleneck there at 98 anything worse than what's already there," Lampton said. "We kinda took a step back and looked at all the different objectives, from the investment to the amount of traffic that it would add to the possibilities of what could have gone in that location, because it could have been a lot of different businesses and this was the most proper fit for that residential area, this we felt would be unobtrusive to the subdivision."

Construction of the facility is set to take roughly 12 to 18 months, according to Lampton.