FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is pushing a plan to move at least one hundred elderly inmates into a closed prison in Floyd County.
In 2012, the Otter Creek Correctional Center in Wheelwright closed its doors putting 170 people out of work.
In a statement released this week, Stumbo said, "This program aims to move these older prisoners to a facility that would be better equipped to handle their care and that would allow prisons to better fulfill their mission. Financially, this approach would make these individuals eligible for Medicaid, which would take away much of the burden on Kentucky taxpayers.”
Stumbo says Connecticut has already taken this type of step, and Georgia is in the process. “I think it would be an ideal fit here as our prison population ages. A facility has not yet been selected, but I believe the one in Wheelwright would fit all of the necessary requirements," he said.
Community members say they believe the plan will bring in not only more jobs, but more traffic to an area that has struggled with poverty.
"I own two businesses in the area," said Newman's Auto owner Josh Newman, "And both of them have dropped off in the last year."
Newman says he supports Stumbo's plan.
"The city's ready for them," said Wheelwright Utilities Commission Paul Hunt Thompson, "We'll do whatever it takes to make them comfortable here."