Opponents of a proposed EKY federal prison allege KY Congressman is rushing project to avoid scrutiny
Opponents of a proposed federal prison in Letcher County say House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers is trying to rush the project through without adequate scrutiny. Dr. Artie Ann Bates, with the group Concerned Letcher Countians, is one of those opposed to the more than 500 million dollar project.
“It could be so much so much more appropriately used for housing. For example, the proponents of the prison admit that we can't just automatically hire people from Letcher County, even though local jobs is one of their big selling points.”
Building Community Not Prisons and Concerned Letcher Countians say Rogers added language to a bill last week that would require a decision on the 14-hundred bed FCI Letcher within 30 days – and prevent federal courts from considering challenges to it. Bates said the county has much more pressing needs.
“We have lost coal jobs. And we have environmental issues, in part referable to strip mining, which is probably one of the factors that cause the flooding to be so severe last year.”
Bates said after last year’s floods, Letcher County has a major housing shortage – including 500 children without a permanent home.
Rogers' office did not respond to an email and phone call requesting comment.