Opening the Thomson Correctional Center as a federal prison is expected to be in President Barack Obama's budget request scheduled for release in coming weeks.
Last year the federal government bought the vacant prison from Illinois for $165 million. An estimated $62 million is needed to activate the prison -- $25 million in construction to bring the prison up to federal standards and $37 million for the first six months of operational costs.
Once operational, the prison is projected to have around 1,100 federal workers.
On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, discussed the plan to open the prison Charles Samuels, director of the Department of Justice's Bureau of Prisons.
"Now that the acquisition of Thomson prison is complete, the Department of Justice has begun preparing for its activation and Director Samuels assured us that process is moving forward," said a statement from Sen. Durbin. "When President Obama releases his budget in the next few weeks, it should include funding for prison activation."
Leading Congressional Republicans opposed the federal purchase of the prison that was earmarked three years ago as a possible site for detainees at Guantanamo Bay.The Guantanamo plan was canceled, but opposition to the federal purchase of the remained until the deal was pushed through in October.
Rep. Bustos said she was pleased to hear from Mr. Samuels that progress was being made on opening the prison.
"Thomson prison represents an economic shot in the arm to our region, and I look forward to working with Sen. Durbin over the coming months to make sure this job-creating facility continues to be on track for opening," she said.
Today is Saturday, March 8, the 67th day of 2014. There are 298 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: The price of board for single gentlemen occupying rooms in Davenport hotels has been raised to $10 per week. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Dr. J.W. Stewart was elected president of the Rock Island County Bible Society. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Mrs. I.O. Nothstein, Rock Island, was named president of the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society of the Twin Cities. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Athel Young, wife of Chic Young, who draws the internationally famous "Blondie" comic strip, has been visiting her mother, Mrs. John Miller, in Rock Island for three weeks. The Youngs' infant son accompanied his mother. 1964 -- 50 years ago: 750 students from 30 northern Illinois high schools will take part in the Class D state finals music contest to be held next Saturday on the Augustana College campus. 1989 -- 25 years ago: A near capacity crowd shook the rafters at Wharton field House in Moline Tuesday night. When the decibel level returned to normal, Alleman's Pioneers had pulled out a 54-49 victory over the Orion Chargers. The win advanced Alleman into the Elite Eight for the first time in 25 years.