Opposition mounting in Lincoln County over new prison site, DOC downplays resistance
State defends location, intends to cover corrections-related infrastructure improvements in area
Community meetings, letter writing campaigns, and calls for action are swirling from Canton to Harrisburg after this month’s revelation that a new prison will be built between the two bustling cities.
But the South Dakota Department of Corrections isn’t backing away from the site it touts as the ideal location for what will be the agency’s primary lockup for men, in part because of the sparsely populated region of Lincoln County it's slated for.
Lincoln County commissioners this week held a public forum where would-be neighbors voiced concerns, including questions about whether anything can be done to stop the project from moving ahead at the 320-acre site at 477th Avenue and 278th Street. The meeting followed an op-ed from Canton-area Lawmaker Kevin Jensen blasting the state of South Dakota for keeping Lincoln County’s elected officials in the dark until The Dakota Scout first reported the planned location on Oct. 3. And like Jensen, county commissioners in Lincoln County are calling on the DOC for answers to questions about infrastructure demands a new prison will bring, potential impacts on property values in the county, and what other sites were considered.
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