Bonifay to rekindle Bonifay PD discussions, reclaim rec center

BONIFAY – Despite reopening under new leadership last month, the Bonifay Police De-

partment may not be clear of the possibility of being absorbed into the Holmes County

Sheriff’s Office.

Councilman Larry Cook approached the idea again when Bonifay City Council met in

regular session Monday, August 14, asking the council to look into having the sheriff ’s

office take over law enforcement operations  within the city limits.

Cook believes the would be more  cost efficient for the City, should Sheriff

John Tate agree to take it on. Mayor Dr. Emily McCann is expected to

speak with the Sheriff Tate this week ahead of a special budget meeting scheduled for

August 17.

The City will also retain ownership of the recreation center in the 2023-2024 fiscal year after the council voted to accept Mayor McCann’s recommendation to not file the deed for the center

to revert ownership back to Holmes County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC).


The council explained the City needs to keep ownership of the facility in order to use a $3.2 million Housing and Urban Development grant that is being awarded based on paperwork

that has already been completed. The grant will be used to make much needed improvements and repairs to the facility.

The budget for the new fiscal year will allow for $30,000 to keep the lights on; however, more funding is possible from BOCC 2023-2024 budget. The funding from the county would also

help to pay for a recreation director to run the center.

Once construction begins on the facility, access to the area will be blocked to the public

as it will impose safety hazards. Bonifay Police Department has agreed to provide ex-

tra patrols before and during construction to ensure all lights are off and no one is accessing

the area.

In other action, Board Vice- Chairwoman Sierra Smith resigned from the council after

accepting the position of executive assistant to the mayor for the City of Bonifay. Smith expressed her gratitude to the citizens and her fellow council members during her time on the council.

In a recommendation from McCann, Rick Crews was voted for and sworn in to replace

Smith on the council. Cook was voted to become Vice- Chairman of the council.

The Bonifay City Council will meet again in workshop at 5 p.m. with regular session at 6 p.m. on

August 28.

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