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Emerald Not Giving Up on Mineral Wells Detention Center

Emerald Companies is refusing to give up on the idea of a proposed private detention center in Mineral Wells, despite a recent rebuffing by that community's city council ("ICE facility put on chill," Mineral Wells Index, April 16) according to an interview with the company's COO Steve Afeman in the Mineral Wells Index ("Emerald open to alternate locations for ICE center," April 21),

Emerald Companies is open to looking at other site locations in Mineral Wells for the proposed Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detention center, according to Chief Operating Officer Steve Afeman.

Mayor Mike Allen's decision to postpone any city council action on Emerald's specific use permit application at the proposed location northeast of Mineral Wells Municipal Airport in order to look for other potential sites has delayed the project but not killed it, according to Afeman.

“It's a curve in the road, it's not a dead end,” Afeman said. “It's still a good project, the need's still there.”

Afeman said he has been told that the main opposition from city leaders has been about the location near the airport rather than the prison itself.

Emerald entered into a 90-day option agreement, with the option for an extension, in January with the Industrial Foundation to buy nearly 62-acres northeast of the airport for $1 per acre. Emerald must meet certain criteria, including obtaining a specific use permit from the city, within the deadline to purchase the land.

As I've written before, it is unclear if this proposed facility is actually being solicited by ICE or if Emerald is merely saying that ICE wants a detention center.  Private prison corporations are notorious for building speculative prison beds, a practice that Emerald employed in its failed bid to build a family detention center in Caldwell County.  In that case, Emerald was rebuffed twice before finally giving up on the county and moving on, apparently to Mineral Wells. 

We'll keep you posted on developments from Mineral Wells.

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hell they need to shut down the one they got !!! its nothing but a damm crap hole an crimal activity all around it