Region & State

Hempstead County residents oppose prison site in area |


BLEVINS — Not in my backyard was the general consensus of Blevins residents at a public meeting concerning a planned prison.

The meeting, Monday night, began at the Blevins City Hall, but moved to the Word of Faith church when city hall couldn’t handle the capacity crowd.

Cathy Wahl, who spearheaded the information gathering about the proposed prison, told those attending she was there to share what she knew, but would prefer is someone else would take over the protests. She said there’s a petition at the post office stating those who sign are opposed to a prison being built in the Blevins area and people need to sign it to let elected officials know where they stand.

Wahl said she gathered information from newspapers and from listening to the Hempstead County Quorum Court and other media outlets in the area. There are two different size prisons being discussed. One is a 1,000 bed maximum security prison. This one was the focus of attention. Wahl said the state would require 400 acres, and this would create 370 jobs. The other is a 250 bed minimum security prison for those inmates transitioning from prison to life in the world. This one would require 40 acres and create 90 jobs.

She said, according to the state, the annual payroll of the prison would be $21 million and it would take between two and 2.5 years to build, depending on when the money’s available. At this time, this is an unfunded project at the state level. In addition, she said Hempstead County was the only county to submit a proposal for the prison this legislative session. She continued, saying there are also two sites in the Gurnsey area being considered.

Wahl said the state is requiring the land to be donated, which means the county will have to buy the land and give it to the state. She added Nevada County is expected to pay for 25 percent of the costs.

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1 reply »

  1. Funny how “Law and Order” scream for more prisons At least until someone wants to put it next door to them.

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