Getting Ahead Of The Game in Fulton - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Getting Ahead Of The Game in Fulton

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Could it be? The Thomson Prison might open?

We've heard the questions before but now, one community has taken the next step in preparing for the prison to open. 

Fulton, IL is just 15 minutes from where the empty prison sits. And now - acting on information that it may be opening in the near future -  the town is looking to the future. 

Recently the town hired a consultant to help them better prepare for what lies ahead. 

"We're asking ourselves if we are as prepared as we can be," said Randy Balk - City Administrator.

So, what does lie ahead? A job source that opens up 1,100 new opportunities for population, money and maybe most importantly.. students. 

Since the 2000 census, River Bend School District in Fulton has lost 250 students from their population - nearly 20%.

And for every student the lose - the district loses nearly $5,500 in state and local funding. 

So the prison opening - it's a big deal. 

"It's potentially going to be the biggest employer in our area," added Balk. 

Balk hopes it could bring a lot of YOUNG families to the community. 

According to federal regulation, prison guards at a federal prison can't be any older than 36.

So this leaves Fulton hoping for young employees, and their young families.. to fill the abandoned desks at their schools. 

The consulting firm hired by the city will report his results on Wednesday at City Hall. 

The meeting will start at 5:30 PM.