AUGUSTA – There’s an effort underway to close the Downeast Correctional Facility. Keeping the Washington County center open and viable is one issue that cuts across party lines.
This is not the first time the State Department of Corrections proposed de-funding the Downeast Correctional Facility. It’s located at the former Bucks Harbor Naval Station and employs 51 people.
Representative Will Tuell, R-Machias, said “This has come around every year or two, that the community has to rise up and fight to keep the facility, keep it open.keep it functional.”
De-funding is bureaucratic speak for eliminating a position, function or facility.
Senator Joyce Maker, R-Calais, stated “It’s believed the ripple affect would be far reaching if the doors of the correctional center were to close.”
“We are a poor county. Our unemployment rate is greater than that of the state average.our average salary is less than the state average.” added Representative Anne Perry, D-Calais.
The representatives and senator agree, the state corrections officials need to come up with a long range plan for the center. Then, they said, maybe the region won’t be put in this type of turmoil every other year.