ATLANTA — Baldwin County, hit hard by state budget cuts to the prison system, is in line for a significant shot in the arm as the state considers proposals to build a private prison.
One of the companies under consideration would build its 1,000-bed facility in the county, state Rep. Rusty Kidd, I-Milledgeville, said Wednesday. The prison would be run through a contract with the state and have a payroll of about $9 million a year, Kidd said.
The Georgia Department of Corrections wouldn’t confirm most details about the deal, saying it won’t release bid proposals until after a contract is awarded. That should happen about the end of this month, department spokeswoman Kristen Stancil said.
The state has closed two Baldwin County prisons in the past year or so. Together, Scott and River’s state prisons had employed nearly 550 people, and now two more state prisons, Bostick and Men’s, may also be closed. State Sen. Johnny Grant, R-Milledgeville, said last week that the department has recommended closure for both facilities, though that would have to be finalized by the governor and state Legislature in the coming weeks and months.
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If a new prison is built, that will help alleviate some of the pain from past cuts, Kidd said.
Kidd also said Wednesday that some local bond funding may involved in a possible prison deal through bonds backed by the Baldwin County Commission, but he wasn’t specific on the details.
The economic development, Kidd said, is “10 times worth the risk of the bonds.”
To contact writer Travis Fain, call 361-2702.