Jones Co. voters to decide fate of courthouse fountains in November

Updated: Oct. 19, 2020 at 6:26 PM CDT
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JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - In November, Jones County voters will decide the fate of the once-segregated water fountains located in front of the Ellisville Courthouse.

“We just want to get the opinions of the voters of Jones County before we move forward with removing them or letting them stay in place,” said Danielle Ashley, Jones County board attorney and chief administrative officer.

After hearing from concerned residents in July, the Jones County Board of Supervisors decided to add a referendum regarding the two water fountains to the November ballot.

“At one time the words ‘colored’ and ‘white’ were visible and they’re actually engraved in the water fountains,” Ashley said. “At some point there was a plaque that was placed over those words, so those words are no longer visible to the eye.”

Jones County voters will have the opportunity to head to the polls on Nov. 3 and decide what’s next for the fountains.

“The two options you have are ‘Yes, I support removing the water fountains,’ or ‘No, I do not support removing the water fountains,’” Ashley said.

Ashley says if the most votes received are “yes,” the removal of the non-functional fountains would then have to be approved by the Mississippi Department of Archives & History.

“We would just have to fill out a notice of intent form and indicate what our desire is with the water fountains,” Ashley said.

According to the Associated Press, the board voted to place plaques on the fountains in 1989.

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