Walnut Grove residents hope the state will find a use for recent - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walnut Grove residents hope the state will find a use for recently-closed prison

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBt Source: WLBt
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
WALNUT GROVE, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Town leaders and residents in cash-strapped Walnut Grove are hopeful the state will keep its promise to find another use for their now closed private prison.

The facility was a big economic driver in the town. Mayor Brian Gomillion said 50 percent of the town's budget has already been slashed. He admits day by day things just get worse.

“For a small town of less than 500 it is huge, said the Mayor. "We have had to furlough some people, we don't work a full week now, and our employees don't get a full weeks pay. All the services that we provide had to be cut.” 

The Walnut Grove Public Library hours will soon be cut due to the lack of funds in the city because of the prison closure. Linda Bounds works are the Library.

“We are cutting people's services when we cut library hours, their books to checkout, there are DVDs to be gotten and there are computers to use,” said Bounds

A ray of help and hope could soon be on the way. The state is considering using the facility as an alternative to prison or a technical violation center. Also, a site to help prisoners prepare to re-enter society is an option.

“I would be more than happy to see MDOC or someone move back into that building, so that can restore jobs to people and help the town immensely and the library,” added Bounds.

The mayor is also optimistic, but claims the state has not been very transparent during this whole ordeal.

“It gives us a little hope although we learned of it through a press release," said Mayor Gomillion. "I don't understand the logic behind what MDOC has done but they are in that business.” 

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