Rifle Correctional Center Will Remain Open

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

A correctional facility in Rifle that was set to be shut down as part of the state's massive budget cutting efforts, will remain open.

On Friday, Governor Bill Ritter announced he and other state officials believe they can close the state's budget shortfall without shutting down the prison.

The recommendation to close the 192 bed facility was met with strong opposition from the Rifle community. Residents said doing so would eliminate 57 jobs and take millions in revenue away from the city.

City officials tell 11 News they're very happy the governor changed his mind and believe the community's support for the prison made a difference.

"I think the over three-hundred people that showed up to the community meeting played a huge role," said Mike Braaten, Government Affairs Coordinator for the City of Rifle. "We think it's great."

"The community played a valuable role in sharing its concerns and I'm pleased we were able to find common ground and reach consensus," said Ritter.

State officials say had the prison been shut down, it would have saved about $600,000 a year.

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