Big news out of Bellows Falls, Vermont, as officials announced Monday they will no longer pursue the construction of a $23-million dollar prison within the village. Windham County Sheriff Keith Clark – who originally proposed the prison nearly three months ago – said yesterday that the state will now look elsewhere to build a pre-trial detention center.
The Liberty Mill Justice Center – as it was to be called – was proposed to be constructed at the site of the former Liberty Mill Paper Co., located on the riverfront on Paper Mill Road.
But according to Clark, findings from a structural engineer revealed that the building was constructed some 30 to 40 years earlier than originally thought, and that it was in “terrible shape.” The proposal was met with immediate concern among residents after it was announced in late November, and eventually led to the formation of a citizens group called “Rockingham for Progress.”
The group hoped to prevent the prison’s construction through changes to town zoning regulations.