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Prison Purchase

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Montana county mulls buying vacant prison

   HARDIN, Mont. (AP) -- A Montana county is considering buying a prison vacant
since it was built in 2007 for $7 million, a quarter its construction price five years
ago.
   The only thing is, the Billings Gazette reports the prison's owner doesn't know
much about the proposed deal.
   Big Horn County Commission Chairman Chad Fenner has been floating an
informal proposal to have his county buy the long-vacant detention facility in
Hardin.
   But Jeffrey McDowell, director of prison-owner Two Rivers Authority, had this
to say: He had no direct information regarding discussions between the county
and bondholders who financed the project.
   In addition, other Big Horn County commissioners are more skeptical about the
purchase.
   For instance, County Commissioner John Pretty On Top says the county needs
a jail, but not a 460-bed prison.
   ------
   Information from: Billings Gazette
   AP-WF-10-06-12 1813GMT

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