Good fit

Published 8:20 pm Friday, July 16, 2010

The Bainbridge-Decatur County Development Authority’s agreement with Corrections Corporation of America for it to potentially build a prison in the next two to three years is a good deal, and a big deal.

Decatur County won a highly competitive process for a company to invest almost three times what the new high school’s cost was. CCA also wants to create anywhere from 250 to 500 jobs—and not just jobs, but careers with full-time status and benefits, said Rick McCaskill, executive director of the authority.

Also, these jobs would be recession proof. Considering our recent history with industries that have closed here, that’s a big deal.

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While the rumor of the prison was floating around the community, some of the reaction was not met with enthusiasm. Prison? Who wants a prison in their backyard?

Well, it’s safe to say we do.

CCA is a good community-oriented corporation, McCaskill said.

The company tries to keep its business local. In Adams County, Miss., the warden of the new CCA facility there reportedly said approximately 42 percent of the business done at CCA has been local and he tried to look for local sellers.

Here in Decatur County, the company could have asked for even more tax breaks and concessions. But it didn’t.

McCaskill said the community and what it offers was what sold CCA in coming here. The job pool, the site itself, a fire station and the airport close to the site, the new high school and Bainbridge College were all factors to convince CCA that Decatur County would be a good investment.

This all adds up to being a good fit. Welcome to Decatur County.