Baldwin Geo Prison Agreement Could Bring Hundreds Of Jobs, Update Waste Water Treatment
"It is going to be significant,” says James Truxton, Baldwin Village President. “They are going to be ramping up jobs."
New hope about the future of this prison…
Its owners could create hundreds of new jobs in Lake County.
It’s a plan that would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring life back to the North Lakes Correctional Facility.
The Baldwin Village president says the GEO Group could re-visit a plan to revitalize the facility soon.
GEO Group signed an agreement in 2010 that would upgrade its private prison… but then it closed in 2011.
In late 2015, the prison moved in around 200 inmates from Vermont.
A new deal from GEO Group could open the doors to new job opportunities.
9&10’s Cody Boyer and photojournalist Jeff Blakeman sat down with the village president to go over the prison’s agreement.
Baldwin Village President James Truxton says this new agreement would bring around 500 jobs to Lake County.
It starts underground with getting the area’s waste water treatment facility ready.
"It’s like watching another John Wayne movie on Turner Classic Movies or something,” Truxton says. “I’ve seen this before."
Only this time…the village president thinks this new plan from GEO Prison could stick.
“They wanted to ramp the facility up and add onto it, working up to 1,900 prisoners,” Truxton says. “There’ll be about 500 direct jobs at the prison between corrections officers and administration, laundry, cooks."
Truxton says GEO Group would update the Baldwin Waste Water Treatment plant… a plan started seven years ago before the prison’s last closure.
“GEO would pay to upgrade and expand our facility by 50-percent to accommodate the additional flows,” Truxton says. “There’s as much as 300,000 gallons a day coming from just the prison. They’ve agreed to pay three-quarters of a million, $750,000 for what we are determining as deferred maintenance."
Also on the table, $5 1/2 million plan to expand the prison, including renewing contracts.
“They had 200 prisoners from Vermont in there the last year or two,” Truxton says.
…and hoping for another 400 from Ohio.
Truxton says the prison is also pursuing Homeland Security contracts for detainees in April.
“It’s a big deal for the region,” Truxton says. “When they were ramping up last time, there were people driving from Cadillac, Manistee, Newaygo into jobs."
He says you can apply for upcoming prison jobs at Michigan Works!