Measure would transfer work camp to county
A Southern Illinois state senator said Sept. 21 that he had filed legislation to begin the process of transferring property ownership of the Hardin County Work Camp to Hardin County.
“The Hardin County Work Camp closure was a devastating setback in the region, eliminating critical jobs in the area and contributing to the economic drain in the region,” State Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg, said in a news release.
“This legislation is the first step in repairing the damage done by the closure of this facility and bringing economic opportunity to Hardin County and the surrounding areas.”
Senate Bill 3634 would allow the Illinois Department of Corrections to sell the Hardin County Work Camp property to Hardin County for $1.
In turn, Hardin County can use the property for public purposes, including the creation of a detention center.
“The aim of this legislation is to empower Hardin County, placing the property in their control as local officials continue to seek out the funding needed to reopen the facility,” Fowler said.
The Hardin County Sheriff’s Department recently announced its intentions to reopen the work camp, with the prospect of housing 100 inmates and creating upwards of 40 new jobs in the area.
Fowler is hopeful that Senate Bill 3634 will see movement when the Illinois General Assembly reconvenes for a veto session which is scheduled in November.