The Prison Relocation Commission approved a list of criteria today on which potential prison sites will be graded.
With criteria selected and weighted, legislators will now be able to compare potential sites for a new state prison. The sites will be graded on six distinct criteria, including proximity to staff, visitors, and medical providers, land and environment impacts, development costs, and community acceptance among other factors.
Republican Senator Jerry Stevenson made the motion that determined how each criterion would be weighted. He gave the most weight to the proximity factor.
“I look at any of the other issues on that list and we can probably correct those as we go through a dollar process, as we go through a cost process, but we can’t that proximity issue,” he says.
Members of the commission also discussed if they would be offering any incentives to the community where a new prison would be developed, but most seemed to oppose the idea, including Republican Representative Brad Wilson.
“I think if communities want the prison, which many of them do, they’ll reap the benefits of job creation and economic development,” he says.
Members of a consultant group hired by the commission say there are looking at more than 25 sites. Sen. Stevenson says the commission will have final recommendations to bring before the legislature near the beginning of the 2014 general session.
Criteria and Weight
Proximity - 35 points
Land and Environment - 15 points
Infrastructure - 15 points
Community Services - 10 points
Development Costs - 10 points
Community Acceptance - 15 points