Monday, June 20, 2016

Illinois Prison Possibly Shutting Off Water Due to Budget

One small Central Illinois community is considering shutting off water to its prison because it's owned nearly $370,000 from the state during the yearlong budget stalemate between Democrats and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The Mount Sterling City Council plans to vote Monday on whether to cut off at Western Illinois Correctional Center, its medium-security prison, which houses 1,800 inmates. The Quincy Herald-Whig reported Sunday the city of 1,900 residents is among three Illinois communities with prisons that are waiting for payments from the state.

The two other municipalities, Clayton and Pittsfield, are owed about $26,000 and $104,000 respectively but are not considering pulling the plug on utilities at its prisons.

Mount Sterling Mayor Dane Flesner is opposed to cutting off water to the prison because they would lose 400 jobs if inmates are relocated and the prison closes. It's possible Flesner could be the tie-breaking vote if the six council members deadlock.

In an email statement to the newspaper, Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Nicole Wilson said officials "are hopeful that the city of Mount Sterling, and all of our vendors, will continue to work with us during these challenging times."

Information Provided by the Associated Press

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