Proposed Federal Prison

Nacogdoches County Commissioners Monday unanimously agreed to support a proposed new federal prison.  Management and Training Corporation, or MTC, is a private business that wants to build a new correctional facility in Nacogdoches County.

Stan Sisco, the Chairman of the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) says this is a great opportunity.  "From an economic development standpoint, it's a great economic stimulus.  Seventy-plus million dollar capital improvement that is privately owned and subject to real estate taxes and estimated to increase school tax revenue several hundred thousand dollars a year."

Sisco expects much misinformation will be going around about the correctional facility, so he wants everyone to be informed in advance.  He says NEDCO and developers will begin immediately answering questions and addressing any public concerns.  "The likelihood of there being some kind of escape is very minimum.  We would not support something coming to Nacogdoches that we thought would bring a risk to the community," Sisco said.  "It's not polluting the air, it's not polluting the water, so it's a win win situation for the county," said County Judge Joe English.

The proposed prison would be a low risk federal facility that would house mostly illegal immigrants. It would employ several hundred people, according to Sisco.  Officials say those jobs will translate into an economic boost for the local community and adjacent counties.  "This is an industry that will bring 300 jobs to Nacogdoches County and a payroll of 11 million dollars a year so this should have a big economical impact on the County," said Judge English.

Proponents say the proposed prison is still in the early planning stages.  MTC must still get approval from the Federal Bureau of Prisons before any definite plans can be made.  "Not really anything voted on that says its definitely coming, or that its definitely not.  There's a very long application process with public hearings for individuals to come give public input later down the road," Judge English said.

The project would be built on 90 acres off Stallings Drive.  The Commissioners will hear more about it in an opening meeting Tuesday afternoon at 5:30 in Commission chambers at City Hall. The public is welcome to attend to find out more.