RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - Commissioners in Bladen County could be positioned to buy the former prison property in White Lake for $1, under a bill approved Wednesday by the state Senate.
Senate Bill 477 was originally introduced in March by Sen. Harry Brown (R-Onslow) as a proposal to protect state monuments. The language of the bill changed while in the Senate Committee on State and Local Government, and emerged with the intent to sell the vacant correctional center property to Bladen commissioners.
Bladen Correctional Center, which was a 172-bed minimum security facility, closed in October of 2013 as part of the state's budget plan. According to an email from County Manager Gregory Martin, county officials expressed interest to the state about acquiring the property to use it as a training area for law enforcement, fire and EMS crews, and to store emergency response equipment.
A stipulation mentioned in the bill mandates that the sale will take place as long as the property is “utilized for county government purposes”.
If the House approves the bill, the sale would take effect July 1.
To read the text of SB 477 click here: