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Local

Durbin: Feds move ahead on prison

No timeline given on facility’s opening

THOMSON – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he received assurances Thursday that the federal government is making progress toward the opening of the long-dormant prison in Thomson.

Durbin released a statement about Thomson after he and Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, met with Charles Samuels, the federal Bureau of Prisons’ director.

“When President Obama releases his budget in the next few weeks, it should include funding for prison activation,” Durbin said.

Durbin and other officials have given no timeline for the prison’s opening.

In October, Obama bypassed Congress and designated “unobligated” money to buy the prison for $165 million.

The state built the 1,600-cell prison a decade ago, then decided it couldn’t afford to run it. It had sought a buyer for years.

Officials say the prison will have $200 million in annual economic impact, bringing 1,100 jobs. Thomson is along the Mississippi River in Carroll County.

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