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Pike officials say there’s no need for hearing on prison project

Pike County officials have canceled a public hearing on a proposed prison, saying there is broad community support of the project that could bring hundreds of jobs to the area.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corp. of America wants to build the 1,500-inmate facility in the Metro-Pike Industrial Park just east of the county airport.

A similar prison proposal died in 2001 after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks diverted federal funding.

The prison would cost $80 million and provide 300 jobs, CCA has said. The company has an option on 85 acres in the industrial park.

Pike County Economic District Executive Director Britt Herrin said Friday that Corrections Corp. of America officials have already met with opponents of the prison, so there’s no reason for a public hearing.

“They feel based on what they’ve been hearing is that there’s acceptance of that (prison) in the community,” Herrin said.