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Funding in limbo for NH federal prison

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  • Funding in limbo for NH federal prison

    No budget passed, so the new BOP facility in Berlin, NH is sitting empty.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/new...ederal_prison/
    Funding in limbo for NH federal prison

    CONCORD, N.H.—Officials in Berlin had hoped that a new federal prison expected to open this summer would start hiring by now. But funding for the project is in limbo as Congress deals with a budget stalemate.

    Congress has not agreed on the budget for Fiscal Year 2011, which was expected to provide money for the prison. The money was not included in the House version of the budget and it's been eliminated in the latest budget proposal from the Senate. The initial amount allocated in the Senate version was $28.5 million.

    Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, said Wednesday the situation is a concern, and if the money doesn't come through in the current budget, that puts the situation into next fall's budget and assumes a budget bill is passed somewhat on time -- a situation that's only happened twice in the last 30 years, she said.

    "We need to make sure we can provide the funding to begin hiring as soon as possible, and yet we've got this stalemate that keeps that from happening," she said. "And yet we've spent $276 million on a prison. We've got the warden there waiting to hire, there are 320 to 340 jobs at the facility, it's going to have a $40 million impact in the region -- and all of this is on hold. Plus, we're spending $4 million a year to maintain the empty building. It doesn't make sense."

    Last fall, state and community officials gave workshops for companies interested in doing business with the new prison. Just this month, White Mountains Community College held workshops on applying for the jobs.

    But no jobs have been posted yet.

    "Right now there's a lot of debate in Washington about spending and cutting spending, and so this is on the table," said Mark Belanger, who manages the Department of Employment Security office in Berlin. "That's very important to us because that has an immediate impact obviously, on jobs, but it's going to go a long way to stabilize our housing market."

    He added, "That prison is actually key to our economic recovery."

    The state's congressional delegation met Tuesday and agreed the prison needs to be funded, Shaheen said. "I think we all agree this is something that needs to be done," she said. "I think how you get the money for it is something that's not clear."

    Stephanie DuBois, a spokeswoman for Republican 2nd District Rep. Charlie Bass, said Bass "strongly supports the Berlin federal prison and recognizes the positive impact it has had and will continue to have on the Berlin community." The prison is in Bass's district.

    " He is working with the rest of the New Hampshire Congressional delegation to determine the best means to get this project funded as soon as possible," DuBois said.
    What is Perseverance?
    -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
    -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
    -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


    BOP - BPA - ICE

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