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Mar 17, 2013 4:34 PM by Lacey Steele

New bill would repurpose Fort Lyon

A bill at the state capitol could possibly change the fate of Fort Lyon in Bent County.

Several possible uses have been discussed for Fort Lyon, but as we found out, this one could become a reality.

Fort Lyon used to be a correctional facility.

Now it could be used to help a specific group of people.

"Any veteran, but specifically we're trying to put an emphasis on homeless veterans," said Rep. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo.

It could get them the help they need.

"The bill calls for using the current facility as a treatment facility where we can specifically try to help homeless veterans with not only substance abuse treatment, but also with vocational rehabilitation training," said Rep. Garcia.

They've also developed a partnership with Otero Junior College to focus on job training.

"There has to be more of an emphasis on providing vocational rehabilitation and job training, and Fort Lyon is just a wonderful facility to be able to do that," said Rep. Garcia.

The bill has great chances of passing the House.

"You need 33 votes in the House of Representatives to pass any legislation," said Rep. Garcia. "This is a little more unique in that we have 40 co-sponsors.

The bill has to go through a couple of committees before heading to the Senate for a vote.

If passed the facility would be state funded.

Initial estimates show it could create 50 to 100 new jobs.

 

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