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, May 25, the 145th day of 2013. There are 220 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: The annual review of the fire department of this city took placeyesterday and made a fine showing with machines and hose carts in tip-top order. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Last night's prayer meeting at Central Presbyterian Church wascalled off due to water in the basement, residue of last week's flood. 1913 -- 100 years ago: The junior class of Rock Island High School will hold a riverexcursion on the steamer St. Paul next Tuesday. 1938 -- 75 years ago: The 75th Anniversary of the Rock Island Arsenal today finds thenation's largest ordinance manufacturing plant filling many important orders for the army. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Miss Patrice Daly, Rock Island, a senior at Rock Island HighSchool, won second place in the recent state public speaking contest held in Peoria underthe auspices of the Knights of Pythias. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Hampton's sesquicentennial committee and the Hampton HistoricalSociety have scheduled a full slate of activities, which will be held throughout the year, to celebrate the village's 150th birthday. The first celebration will be the Memorial Dayprogram at 10 a.m. May 30, at the Brettun and Black Store Museum on River Road. Therewill be a sesquicentennial display.