Meeting on Phelps closure held between local, state officials - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Meeting on Phelps closure held between local, state officials

BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) -

Some local officials spent most of the day in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, meeting with state officials about the planned closure of Phelps Correctional Center in DeQuincy. 
 
The announcement came last Friday in a news release to local and state media.

"It's like they took $200,000 out of our budget Friday," said DeQuincy Mayor Lawrence Henagan. "For a $2.6 million budget, that's a pretty good lick." 

The impact of Phelps Correctional Center closing on Nov. 1 will be felt all across Southwest Louisiana. And Wednesday, Henagan, Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach and Vinton Mayor Kenny Stinson met with House Speaker, state Rep. Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, and state officials to make that clear.

"Mayor Henagan voiced his frustrations and his concerns," Kleckley said. "His message was very loud and very clear." 

After the meeting, the closure is still set for Nov. 1, but employees will be given the first choice for other positions in the state they qualify for.

But what about those with families?

"Tough call," Henagan said. "Tough call. That's the part that bothers me the most. I feel that God put me here for a reason, to represent these people. Times like this, it's what can we do to make this as painless as possible. It's going to be tough." 

Another option discussed for Phelps is privatization. Kleckley said a committee is already being formed.

"Their goal will be to go out and find a private company to come in there to take over the facility or run the facility," Kleckley said. 

Henagan said he walked away from the meeting with a better understanding for what's going on but not how the state handled it.

"You go in a meeting like that, and you try to handle it right, but it's kind of one of those times you got to get it off your chest," Henagan said. "Y'all did a poor job on this. I told them, I said, you can't get down here and look at numbers on a piece of paper without remembering each one of those numbers represents a person, represents a family."

Members of the Work Force Commission will be at Phelps on Thursday and Friday to meet with employees about their options.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Youth baseball helping grow talent and character

    Youth baseball helping grow talent and character

    Monday, June 25 2018 2:05 PM EDT2018-06-25 18:05:50 GMT
    (Source: Dixie Youth)(Source: Dixie Youth)
    (Source: Dixie Youth)(Source: Dixie Youth)

    We’ve all seen the big leaguers play, but to get there they had to start on the smaller fields just like everyone else.

    More >>

    We’ve all seen the big leaguers play, but to get there they had to start on the smaller fields just like everyone else.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Hot temperatures with low rain chances this week

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Hot temperatures with low rain chances this week

    Monday, June 25 2018 1:49 PM EDT2018-06-25 17:49:57 GMT
    Warm and dry eveningWarm and dry evening
    Warm and dry eveningWarm and dry evening

    So far today, there has not been much rain across Southwest Louisiana. More showers have fallen in east Texas. They are moving to the north, and not in our direction, but I cannot rule out a couple showers popping up in Beauregard or Vernon parish. Therefore, I have only a 10% chance of rain this afternoon. The temperatures will be hot, though. Highs will be in the 90s, but it will feel like the triple digits. Overnight, most of the clouds will clear away. 

    More >>

    So far today, there has not been much rain across Southwest Louisiana. More showers have fallen in east Texas. They are moving to the north, and not in our direction, but I cannot rule out a couple showers popping up in Beauregard or Vernon parish. Therefore, I have only a 10% chance of rain this afternoon. The temperatures will be hot, though. Highs will be in the 90s, but it will feel like the triple digits. Overnight, most of the clouds will clear away. 

    More >>
  • R.I.O.T. 2018 at Civic Center from June 24 - June 30

    R.I.O.T. 2018 at Civic Center from June 24 - June 30

    Monday, June 25 2018 11:37 AM EDT2018-06-25 15:37:43 GMT
    R.I.O.T. will teach youth about music, karate, and more. (Source: calcasieuyouthorganization.com)R.I.O.T. will teach youth about music, karate, and more. (Source: calcasieuyouthorganization.com)

    Revival in Our Town, or R.I.O.T. for short, will be at the Civic Center from June 24 - June 30. The week-long event is a youth and adult music workshop and conference hosted by the Calcasieu Youth Organization.  The conference includes classes, such as karate classes, music workshops, and speakers discussing topics ranging from bullying to leadership. The faith-based event has been in Lake Charles for over 30 years. To learn more about the event, you can visit their Facebook p...

    More >>

    Revival in Our Town, or R.I.O.T. for short, will be at the Civic Center from June 24 - June 30. The week-long event is a youth and adult music workshop and conference hosted by the Calcasieu Youth Organization.  The conference includes classes, such as karate classes, music workshops, and speakers discussing topics ranging from bullying to leadership. The faith-based event has been in Lake Charles for over 30 years. To learn more about the event, you can visit their Facebook p...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly