* From a Decatur Herald & Review editorial which eventually gets around to arguing for “state subsidies” for nuclear power plants, including the one down the road in Clinton…
The chips are starting to fall in anticipation of the planned shutdown of the Exelon nuclear power plant in Clinton and the first significant victim is the DeWitt County jail.
As reported last week by Kevin Barlow, jail inmates have been transferred to the Piatt County jail in Monticello as part of a new arrangement designed to save DeWitt County money. […]
In addition to preparing for a substantial loss of tax dollars if the Exelon plant closes, [Dewitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner] said the county also is making a lot less money on its longtime program of housing federal inmates.
When Shofner took over in 2010, the DeWitt County jail took in more than $1 million in revenue for housing federal prisoners and had a staff of 16. Today, that revenue is about $180,000 per year and the staff has dropped to 12 people.
The current DeWitt County jail opened in April 1994 at a cost of about $7 million. It was designed to house 60 prisoners. Last week, the jail reported only 19 prisoners on site.
Um, OK. It looks to me like the county made a huge investment on a jail that was far too big for its actual needs. And handing the immensely profitable Exelon giant taxpayer subsidy checks in order to keep that jail open is not an argument that anyone else will buy.