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Grant will help with choosing prison site




The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded the Letcher County Planning Commission $50,000 in federal funding for a site analysis to determine the potential location for constructing a federal prison.

The grant was announced by U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers and U.S. Senator Jim Bunning.

Benny Hamilton, assistant director of Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD), said the grant will give the planning commission “a good idea of the cost of infrastructure” at each of the three proposed sites.

“The Letcher County Planning Commission has reviewed numerous potential sites. After a great deal of work, the Letcher County Planning Commission was able to present the Federal Bureau of Prisons with three sites. The Letcher County Planning Commission showed members of the Federal Bureau of Prisons site selection team properties in the Payne Gap, Roxana and Upper Cumberland areas,” said Amy McDougal, a member of the Letcher County Planning Commission.

McDougal said the Federal Bureau of Prisons is preparing documents necessary in the bidding process for Phase I, which is also referred to as the reconnaissance phase.

“This phase involves an initial overview of the community and the sites in question. It is important to keep in mind that phase I is a part of the process in determining if the Federal Bureau of Prisons will actually locate a prison in Letcher County. At this point, it seems that the Federal Bureau of Prisons is planning on a medium security facility,” said McDougal.


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