September 30, 2014

Closure uncertainty: MDOC says prison will survive beyond Oct. 1

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STANDISH — Common knowledge in Standish was that if the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility (SMF) wasn’t holding federal prisoners or ones from another state by Oct. 1, it would officially be shuttered.

But it seems that date is no longer the end of the road for the prison.

“We (Michigan Department of Corrections) haven't made a decision on when to close SMF. However, even if we decided today to close the facility it would take longer than 30 days to do everything we need to do to actually close the facility,” said an e-mail from Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) Public Information Officer Russ Marlan, sent to the Independent on Sept. 1. “We would have to develop new bump chains for the employees there, as positions have changed since the end of July when we had originally intended to close SMF.”

“I think it’s great news for all the employees,” said Standish Mayor Kevin King. “I only wish that they (MDOC) would give these folks an actual time and day when this going to close.

“It’s nice that it’s extended, I wish it’d stay open forever.”

King added the city would enjoy some much-needed financial stability the longer Standish Max continued operating.

“It’s great news for the city of Standish, because everyday it’s open, with the water and sewer, it’s helping the city pay the bills,” King said.

Marlan also said there has been no new developments on a proposal from the federal government.

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