Old prison brings 'new chapter' to Floyd County

Published: May. 29, 2020 at 7:45 PM EDT
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Governor Andy Beshear announced that the state is moving forward with plans to

in Wheelwright.

The original plans for the commonwealth to take over the 656-bed prison were announced by former Gov. Matt Bevin in October, with plans to help the overcrowding of the prisons in the state. Since then, Floyd County officials have laid in wait.

"We were concerned," said Floyd County Judge-Executive Robbie Williams. "But the difference today is: the work has been completed as requested by Core Civic, who is the owner of the facility. That work has all been completed as of this week. And with the announcement coming out of the governor's office, that hiring will take place immediately."

Now, with items checked off of the to-do list, Williams said the county will see the Southeast Kentucky Correctional Facility move forward. Which he says could not come at a better time since the project will provide 200 state jobs, giving the county and its surrounding communities a "shot in the arm"

"I think, with the COVID-related cuts and layoffs and things that are happening over the last few months, this is a blessing," Williams said.

Williams said hiring people is the next step, adding that hundreds of people have applied since the applications opened last year. He said people who have already applied should check to make sure their information is correct, but should not have to re-apply.

"I would be certain that my information is in that system," said Williams.

He said he plans to reach out to representatives in Frankfort next week to touch base on the exact plans moving forward.

"We certainly feel we're at the - I say at the finish line. But hopefully, it's the starting gate. You know, that it's a new chapter in Floyd County," said Williams.

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