Legislation sponsored by State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) to transfer property ownership of the Hardin County Work Camp to Hardin County passed the Senate on November 15.
“Sponsoring this legislation was about beginning the process of empowering Hardin County and the surrounding communities to bring jobs and opportunities to the region,” said Senator Fowler. “It’s encouraging that the Senate voted to support our efforts to reinvigorate the community and recognized the potential for growth within this property.”
House Bill 3274 would allow the Illinois Department of Corrections to sell the Hardin County Work Camp property to Hardin County for $1. In turn, the property can be used for public purposes, including the creation of a detention center.
“This is not only the first step toward utilizing this property to its full potential, but also a significant step toward fostering economic opportunity,” said Fowler. “By allowing Hardin County to purchase this property, we are paving the way for the community and surrounding areas to finally benefit from the currently neglected and vacant facility.”
Earlier this year, the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department announced their intentions to reopen the Work Camp. Plans include opening a detention facility with the potential to house upwards of 100 inmates and create dozens of new jobs.
House Bill 3274 passed the Senate unanimously and will now move to the House of Representatives for further action.
Senator Fowler is also the Senate chief co-sponsor for House Bill 130, an identical measure to House Bill 3274, which also passed out of the House of November 15.