This was a Four Lake Authority project when they sold 108 acres to CCA a few years ago, but it was later put on hold when the corporation was unable to garner a contract with the Tennessee Department of Corrections.
“Around May or June of 2013 talks began and we could hear a rumble,” said Mayor West. “We could tell they were on a move to get this project rolling again. It’s been a long road.”
“This is going to be a positive impact for the area, and mainly Trousdale, Macon and Smith Counties,” noted Mayor West. “There wil be about 2,552 beds in this facility over the next five years and the state is looking at the need for an additional 900 beds, which would move it up to 3,400. ”
Mayor West said that once himself, the County Court and Commissioners signed with the State Department it moved into different departments. “Once the comptroller’s office reviewed the contract and had all their questions and concerns answered,” said Mayor West, “I got an e-mail from the Department of Corrections on Thursday morning, July 3, saying that the contract had been signed for the funding. It was a done deal.”
“They expect the facility to be constructed in 18 months,” said West. “That’s what is on the contract and the clock started when the contract was signed on Thursday. So CCA is on it to get this facility constructed. They hope to get it done in 15 months, but they have to build it in 18.”
“I feel like the job oppportunity for the people in surrounding counties will be great,” said the Trousdale County Mayor.
Macon Counthy Mayor Linville said that he believes the CCA prison will be a big asset to the whole area. “More than just prison jobs, I think other projects will be created because there will be a lot of visitors to the area, families coming to see their relatives that are inmates there,” said Mayor Linville.
“The prison will not only provide a boost in jobs, but it will also provide a boost in the area’s economy, during the construction phase and after completion as well,” continued Mayor Linville. “Eventually, in years to come, I believe this will jump start the possible construction of Highway 10 across Highway 25 and a new bridge across the Cumberland River eventually tying into 141.”
Mayor Linville said that the way it is now, it could be many, many years before this road construction is done, but with this facility on its’ way and alot more people coming into this area, he believes it could be a lot sooner.
Added Mayor Linville, “I realize that some people might be a little apprehensive about having a prison in this area. But as I understand it, this will be a minimum security prison and I don’t think people need to be too concerned.”
Mayor West said, “I’m glad to sit down with Mayor Linville and discuss what intentions we have for our counties and being prepared for what’s to come. Again, this prison is a great thing and I think it is a win-win situation for everybody.”