2010-09-22 / Front Page

CCA to build prison here

By Deborah Bennett Millen News Editor

It was announced last Thursday that Corrections Corporation of America would construct a $56.8 million prison here. Shown are, from left, Paula Herrington, Millen-Jenkins County Chamber of Commerce executive director; King Rocker, City of Millen mayor; Jon Burns, State Representative; and James Henry, Jenkins County Board of Commissioners chairman. (Photo by Lavonna Drawdy) It was announced last Thursday that Corrections Corporation of America would construct a $56.8 million prison here. Shown are, from left, Paula Herrington, Millen-Jenkins County Chamber of Commerce executive director; King Rocker, City of Millen mayor; Jon Burns, State Representative; and James Henry, Jenkins County Board of Commissioners chairman. (Photo by Lavonna Drawdy) Jobs are coming to Millen and Jenkins County! The announcement was made last Thursday that Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) will construct a prison on 107 acres of land it already owns on Pine Avenue.

CCA has been awarded a contract by the Georgia Department of Corrections to manage up to 1,150 male inmates in the Jenkins County facility, which will be designed, constructed and owned and operated by CCA. Flintco has been named as the national contractor for this project, and is working with the architectural firm, DLR Group.

This property owned by CCA on Pine Avenue will soon be transformed into a $56.8 million prison facility that will house up to 1,150 inmates for the Georgia Department of Corrections. (Staff photo by Deborah Bennett) This property owned by CCA on Pine Avenue will soon be transformed into a $56.8 million prison facility that will house up to 1,150 inmates for the Georgia Department of Corrections. (Staff photo by Deborah Bennett) “For more than 12 years, CCA and the State of Georgia have worked in close partnership as CCA has provided safe, secure corrections management solutions that save hardworking taxpayers’ dollars,” said Damon Hiniger, CCA president and chief executive officer. “We are proud to currently own and operate two prisons in Georgia for the state and greatly value being entrusted with an expanded partnership that allows us to build and operate the CCA Jenkins Correctional Center.”

Construction of the $56.8 million prison will begin within approximately three months with the facility expected to be ready to receive the first Georgia inmates in the first quarter of 2012.

CCA estimates that the economic impact on Jenkins County will include 200 full time jobs of which the majority will be hired locally, with an estimated annual payroll of $8 million in salaries and benefits. Also, hundreds of constructionrelated jobs and work for local sub-contractors is anticipated during the construction phase of the project.

“We look forward to a strong community partnership with the local community. We will not only be bringing hundreds of stable careers with strong salaries and benefits, along with important tax revenues through property and sales taxes, but we also will be an active contributor to local community events. This will be a win-win partner- ship for the State of Georgia, Jenkins County and CCA,” said Tony Grande, CCA executive vice president and chief development officer.

“This is yet another great example of public-private partnerships in Georgia,” said Gov. Sonny Perdue. “By partnering with CCA, Jenkins County will see a positive economic impact.

Local leaders agree, noting that in addition to providing jobs and payroll for local citizens, many “side effects” are also anticipated, including the establishment of new businesses in the community such as fast food restaurants, convenience stores and other retail stores.

Also, the city, county and school system will benefit. The city will provide water, sewer and natural gas for the facility, and the county and school system will benefit from ad valorem taxes. CCA anticipates paying approximately $1.2 million annually in combined property taxes and utility payments, said Louise Grant, CCA vice president of communications.

The extension of city utility lines to the property will be funded through Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax money that has already been designated for that purpose, and the city will also pursue grants to cover the costs, said City Manager Lamar Faircloth. The county has agreed to construct an entrance to the site and pave the roadway and will also apply for grants to help cover the costs, said Jenkins County Commission Chairman James Henry.

“We are so grateful to the residents, business and civic leaders and the elected officials in Millen and all of Jenkins County for showing us such an outpouring of support over the past months, when CCA was in the process of proposing that Georgia build and operate a prison on our Millen property,” said Mr. Grande.

CCA currently operates five prisons and detention centers in the state, employing approximately 1,500 corrections professionals with about $54 million annual payroll and paying nearly $8 million in property taxes and utilities annually. The company is the nation’s largest provider of partnership corrections to federal, state and local government, operating more than 60 facilities in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

“CCA will work with local officials to organize a groundbreaking ceremony for Jenkins Correctional Center. Following that event, we will work diligently in 2011 to keep residents fully informed about great career opportunities with CCA, as well as educating them on CCA and our safe operations of prisons and detention centers,” said Louise Grant, vice president of Communications for CCA. ”When I met personally with hundreds of Millen residents during a town hall meeting in 2009, I, and the others from CCA, were welcomed with open arms, and that high level of support convinces me that CCA and Jenkins County will have a very meaningful, win-win partnership beginning immediately. I invite residents to learn more about CCA by visiting our many websites, including www.ccajob.com, www.ccacommunities.com, www.correctionscorp.com, www.insidecca.com and www.ccarehabilitation.com.”

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