Thursday, April 7, 2016

Letcher County Leaders Honor Congressman Rogers

On Wednesday, the Letcher County Chamber and Planning Commission jointly honored Congressman Hal Rogers for his efforts to bring a federal penitentiary and prison camp to Letcher County. During a budget hearing in February, chaired by Rogers, Attorney General Loretta Lynch confirmed that $444 million would be used to construct a new facility in Letcher County. According to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the facility will create approximately 300 jobs.

To celebrate progress on the project, local leaders presented Congressman Rogers with a special plaque in recognition of his work. In his acceptance remarks, Rogers credited the success to the Letcher County Planning Commission.

"You made it clear that if the Bureau planned to build a new prison, you wanted it here in Letcher County, where the people of southern and eastern Kentucky make up the best workforce in the country," said Rogers. "You stormed the halls of Washington, DC in search of support and a reprieve for the hard-working, laid-off coal miners and good people of Letcher County - in the form of sustainable, good-paying jobs."

Rogers said the BOP reported that the Letcher County prison project received the most positive community feedback in its history.

On Monday, the final Environmental Impact Study (EIS) was released "making no change to proposed action" and marking another step forward for the project. The BOP's "Record of Decision" is expected to be released after the public comment period ends in May.         

The EIS executive summary states: "The purpose of the proposed federal correctional facility in Letcher County, Kentucky, is to develop additional high-security facilities to increase capacity for current inmate populations in the Mid-Atlantic Region based on an identified need for additional bedspace. The Bureau has determined that there is a need for additional high-security facilities within this region to reduce the demonstrated overcrowding that compromises the mission of the Bureau."    

The Bureau selected a 700-acre site on reclaimed mine land in Roxana for the facility.