Mar 2, 2011 4:50 PM by Greg Boyce
LAS ANIMAS, Colo. (AP) - Gov. John Hickenlooper says he recognizes that closing a prison in rural southeastern Colorado will have a "significant impacts" on the community. But Hickenlooper says there's also a lot of pressure to balance the state budget, which faces a $1 billion shortfall.
Hickenlooper made the comments Wednesday in Las Animas where he toured the Fort Lyon Correctional Facility. He also planned to talk with city leaders about the economic impact the closure would have on the region.
Nearly 2,600 people live Las Animas, and residents say the 204 jobs the prison provides are crucial. The prison is home to 500 prisoners, many of them aging and disabled.