More than a thousand migrant detainees from the border to be housed at the Richwood Correctional Facility

Published: Apr. 4, 2019 at 11:45 PM CDT
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A round of applause came from Richwood Correctional Center employees after the board of aldermen voted to allow the the mayor to sign a contract with the facility.

The contract isn't public yet, but KNOE learned more than a thousand undocumented immigrants from the border would be held there. Part of the agreement, calls for the correctional center to pay the town $1.50 for each detainee.

The mayor has said the town could get more than $500,000, which made voting easy for some aldermen.

"I believe that it was a home run. It was a win win for Richwood," Alderman Simeon Profit said. "That's why I voted the way that I did and I know some of our citizens are disappointed, but I think they put me in this position to make these decisions for our community and I think this was the right one."

Though a majority voted in favor of this, there was push back from two other aldermen and others who live here.

Alderwoman Leola Keys just feels the town is getting the short end of the stick.

"A $1.50 is not adequate for us to assume the risk that will be involved, so maybe we could have even negotiated if we were getting a larger piece of the pie," Keys said.

And they're concerned about safety.

"I do know the risks involved. Richwood, sits in the woods. And we need protection. We need 24 hour protection and we do not have that," Keys said.

The mayor told KNOE the facility will have their own security in place. Another alderman said, according to the contract, the town would be responsible for things like payroll, but another aldermen said that's not true.

"The town will not be responsible for the payroll that was in question. So, there's nothing else to be said about that. It's plain and simple to me," Profit said.

Aldermen said they plan to use the money on a 24-hour police department and recreation for children.

The mayor plans to have the deal signed by Tuesday. Then, it becomes public.

KNOE did reach out to the correctional center officials, but was told no comment.