THOMSON (WIFR) – It appears one Illinois lawmaker’s new year’s resolution is to make significant progress in an effort to bring a federal prison to Thomson.
It was a very big week for the prospects of bringing hundreds of jobs to Northwestern Illinois. The recent budget compromise should get the ball rolling on freeing up money for the Thomson project. Also this week, Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf announced he won’t be seeking re-election. Wolf heads the sub-committee that approves the Federal Bureau of prison’s budget. He’s been strongly against allocating money for Thomson. Senator Durbin told me he hopes congressman Wolf will “mellow out” over the final year. If he does put up a fight, Durbin says now they’re ready for it.
“We have a budget agreement that will lead to an appropriations bill for the bureau of prisons. They will start spending money this fiscal year making sure that this new prison meets federal standards. That means putting construction workers to work in Illinois. It also means getting closer to the day when we have a payroll for over 1,000 employees at this prison,” said Sen. Dick Durbin.
Thomson Prison has over 1,600 cells. The prison has sat virtually empty since it was built in 2001.