Friday, February 24, 2012

Save Dwight Correctional Center

As you all have probably heard, the Dwight Correctional Center is being proposed to be closed as part of the Governor's 2013 Budget.  In response, a meeting was held today in which many elected officials, civic leaders, and AFSCME officials. In the meeting, we discussed a plan of action, created an email distribution list, and formed a smaller committee that will be assigned specific tasks to perform in creating the action plan.

The GLCEDC will be responsible for measuring the financial impact of the closure on the regional and local economy, as well as on our local businesses.  We have already performed a cursory impact analysis and the loss of the 350 jobs translates into a $25 million annual impact on the three county region (Grundy, Livingston & Kankakee).  We will refine this number and measure the spillover, or ripple, effects as we get more specific residency information for the prison employees.

A community meeting has been scheduled for Monday March 5 at 6:00 p.m. at Dwight Township High School.

I just wanted you to know that a plan of action is being put together and that the GLCEDC will be wholeheartedly supporting the effort to keep the facility open by providing facts and data regarding the economic impact of the closure.  I am also reaching out to my economic development colleagues in Grundy and Kankakee Counties.  Both have offered their support for this cause.

I will do my best to keep you posted along the way.  A Facebook page called, "Save Dwight Correctional Center" has been created.  Much of the information regarding our efforts will be posted there.  Our blog will also be updated regularly with the latest information.  Petitions are also being circulated throughout the County.

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