Mar 15, 2011 8:52 PM by Stephanie Collins
DENVER (AP) - State lawmakers proposed delaying the closure of a southeastern Colorado prison amid concerns from rural county officials who say the facility is a big economic driver for the region.
The six-member Joint Budget Committee unanimously voted Tuesday afternoon to delay the closing of Fort Lyon Correctional facility in Las Animas for six months. The proposal gives residents in the region time to prepare and allows local officials to propose alternative uses for the facility.
The prison is now scheduled to close March 1, instead of Aug. 31 of this year. The full Legislature will still have to approve the delay.
Area officials say closing the prison would devastate local economies.
Closing the prison this year would save the state $3 million and $6.3 million every following year.