By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
FULTON, Ill. —
While funding is uncertain for the Thomson prison until the federal budget is passed, some staff and security positions have already been selected, according to Bureau of Prisons Activation Coordinator Cathi Litcher.
Litcher contacted Fulton City Administrator Randy Balk about the economic assessment consulting agreement they signed with Terry Rumery of Rumery & Associates to determine the position of the community as the new facility opens.
“She was excited that Fulton is talking about the prison and making preparations,” Balk said.
Due to the current budget situation and a continuing resolution in place until at least March 27, there is not enough funding to support the activation of the facility by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Litcher said in an email to Balk. Despite the lack of funding, the BOP has been able to move forward in some respects.
Two BOP staff were selected and will transfer to Thomson beginning April 7. No positions have been posted for the general public at this time.
Litcher said that they plan to let as many people in the local commuting area of about a 1 1/2 hour drive of the prison know when vacancies are listed.
Fulton has taken the lead in preparing to offer opportunities for expansion as the prison finally opens, by hiring Rumery and looking into their resources both negative and positive.
“Other communities will likely start taking notice with this news,” Balk said. “For us, it’s all about improving and growing our community.”
The Bureau of Prisons has signed a “Memorandum of Agreement” with the Illinois Department of Corrections to allow one staff member from the initial construction work at the prison to aid in the transition, according to Litcher.
Currently BOP has a contract with a local security guard service that is on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No tours are being offered.
Those interested in working at the prison can visit the Bureau of Prisons Official Website, bop.gov, and select the careers tab to start preparing to enter the federal work force.
Businesses can also visit the site for more information on business opportunities working with the government.
Rumery presented the results of the assessment of where Fulton stands with the federal prison opening soon on Wednesday.
Look for a full story on the assessment in Friday’s Clinton Herald.