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River North Correctional Facility, a state prison in Grayson, could open by July 2013 if senate proposal passes

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By The Staff

RICHMOND -- State Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Fries) facilitated a meeting with Gov. Bob McDonnell and Grayson County Administrator Jonathan Sweet last Monday to discuss details surrounding River North Correctional Facility, a state-run prison to be opened in Grayson County.
McDonnell, Carrico and Sweet met to “begin developing a strategy for opening the correctional facility as soon as funding can be identified,” Carrico said.  “I have had an ongoing dialogue with the Governor and local leaders on this issue, and I am confident that by working closely together, we can bring this project to fruition and put hundreds of people back to work.”
Del. Israel O'Quinn was scheduled to attend the meeting as well, but a nine hour floor session prevented him from attending. "I am glad the Governor is willing to work towards the opening of the prison in Grayson County,” O’Quinn said.  “This is one of my top priorities and Senator Carrico and I have had numerous meetings with Public Safety officials to address our concerns. This is a big step in the right direction."
“From the beginning of the process, I have been a vocal advocate of bringing this facility to Grayson County,” said Carrico, who represented Grayson County in the House of Delegates for 10 years before being elected to the Virginia Senate last November. “Now that it’s here, we need to take the necessary steps to ensure that it becomes operational and provides our area with hundreds of badly-needed jobs. That’s what I intend to do.”
This week, the Senate will vote on a budget, which includes language sponsored by Carrico expressing the intent of the General Assembly that the Governor provide sufficient funds for the opening of the correctional facility by July 1, 2013. The budget amendment also includes language directing the Department of Corrections to develop a plan to open the facility and provide copies of the plans to the Governor and various other state officials.
The correctional facility was first proposed in 2007, with then-Del. Carrico serving as a leading voice in the legislature on bringing the project to Grayson County.  “Tough economic times demand diligent work and strong relationships within the legislative and executive branches to find sustainable funding for the prison’s operational costs,” Carrico said.  “Since the construction was completed in 2010, I have and will continue to introduce budget amendments to fund the prison, and I will continue to engage the Governor and other leaders at every level until we open the doors to River North Correctional Facility.”
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