Lack of funds stalls Thomson prison startup


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Posted Online: Feb. 08, 2013, 6:19 pm
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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com
It remains unclear when Thomson Correctional Center will open as a federal prison, with money needed for construction upgrades unlikely to become available until October.

Purchased by the federal government for $165 million last year after sitting largely vacant for the past decade, the prison awaits another $67 million in activation funding before it can open

Bureau of Prisons activation coordinator Cathi Litcher gave Thomson's village board an update on the prison progress at a meeting on Monday.

"There is no activation or operational funding identified in the Congressional fiscal year budget for 2013 in support of the opening of the Thomson facility by the federal Bureau of Prisons," an emailed statement to village board members said.

"Also, the agency isn't aware of the final funding situation for Thomson during fiscal year 2014. Until the federal budget is passed, for either year, the BOP isn't aware of the funding levels in support of the activation or operation of the Thomson institution," the statement said.

The prison is expected to create 1,100 federal jobs when fully operational. So far, two maintenance positions have been filled, Thomson village board member Linda Foltz said.

U.S. Sen Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the expected inclusion of money in President Obama's budget request for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1 should allow construction upgrades to be completed.

"Even with the spending cuts we are facing in Washington over the next six to eight months, they are making progress at the facility," a statement from Sen. Durbin said. "The next step is for the President to include funding for activation of Thomson prison in his budget for 2014, which will allow the Bureau of Prisons to move forward with upgrades and construction."

Workshops will be held in the coming months to help area businesses compete for federal government contracts connected to the prison.

The prison was built in 2001 but funding problems kept the state from fully opening it. Federal officials bought the 1,600-cell facility last October to ease overcrowding in the federal system.





















 



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  Today is Tuesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Col. H.F. Sickless informs us that there will be new organization of troops in this state under the call for more men.
1889 -- 125 years ago: James Normoyle arrived home after graduating from West Point with honors in the class of 1889. He was to report to Fort Brady, Mich., as second lieutenant in the 23rd Infantry.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany and Austria refused an invitation of Sir Edward Grey to join Great Britain at a mediation conference.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Dr. William Mayo, the last of the three famous Mayo brother surgeons, died at the age of 78.
1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the biggest horse shows of the season was held yesterday at Hillandale Arena on Knoxville Road under the sponsorship of the Illowa Horsemen's Club.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Davenport is like a gigantic carnival this weekend with the Bix Arts Fest taking over 12 square blocks of the downtown area. A festive atmosphere prevailed Friday as thousands of people turned out to sample what the Arts Fest has to offer.








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