Morton waiting for word on federal prison | Business
MORTON, MS (WLBT) - All the City of Morton can do now is sit, wait and hope.
Morton and two other U.S. cities – Hinton, Okla., and incumbent McRae, Ga. – are in competitive range to become the site for a new federal prison.
According to a spokesperson for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, the bureau took applications for a new location for the federal prison because its current contract with the McRae facility in Georgia ends next year.
The facility will have an estimated 1,753 beds and house mainly “low security male criminal aliens,” according to the spokesperson.
The proposed site is off Highway 13 about a half mile north of Interstate 20 and totals about 252 acres. The prison will only take up a small portion of that land but there will also be a large “buffer zone,” said Morton Mayor Greg Butler said.
Butler said the facility would create close to 250 “very good paying jobs,” at a time when jobs are hard to come by.
“It would be a big economic boost for this city and county and basically the entire state of Mississippi,” Butler said.
This isn’t the first time the city has been in the running for a project like this. A couple years ago, Morton went pretty far in a bid for a federal prison but was ultimately eliminated, Butler said.
This time, Morton has gotten much farther in the process and the community has really jumped on board. There have been two public hearings this year with the last being early this month. Butler expects to hear something in the next month or two.
The bureau anticipates awarding the contract in September. The location that is chosen is expected to receive inmates by December 2012.