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>>

  • Man arrested after jumping on stage at church to yell about pizza rolls, ice cream and movies

    Man arrested after jumping on stage at church to yell about pizza rolls, ice cream and movies

    Thursday, February 22 2018 10:12 PM EST2018-02-23 03:12:02 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    A man went to The Gathering church in Sulphur Sunday, walked on stage and started talking about pizza rolls, ice cream and watching a movie.  Luckily security jumped in before anything more could happen.  When two men came into The Gathering during service Sunday, senior pastor Casey Rader knew something just wasn't right.   "They were walking with a purpose, and I noticed they kept coming closer to the stage," said Rader.  One of them actually m...

    More >>

    A man went to The Gathering church in Sulphur Sunday, walked on stage and started talking about pizza rolls, ice cream and watching a movie.  Luckily security jumped in before anything more could happen.  When two men came into The Gathering during service Sunday, senior pastor Casey Rader knew something just wasn't right.   "They were walking with a purpose, and I noticed they kept coming closer to the stage," said Rader.  One of them actually m...

    More >>
  • LSU Greek Life task force makes recommendations, 4 months after hazing death of LSU student

    LSU Greek Life task force makes recommendations, 4 months after hazing death of LSU student

    Thursday, February 22 2018 9:40 PM EST2018-02-23 02:40:36 GMT
    (Source: LSU Daily Reveille)(Source: LSU Daily Reveille)
    (Source: LSU Daily Reveille)(Source: LSU Daily Reveille)

    After four months of deliberations following the hazing death of a pledge, LSU’s task force on Greek Life presented 28 recommendations for overseeing fraternities and sororities, including an amnesty policy and moving Greek tailgating to chapter houses. LSU President F. King Alexander plans in March to bring the recommendations to a meeting of presidents of other universities. He said a number of universities plan to adopt similar policies. However, the family of Maxwell Gruve...

    More >>

    After four months of deliberations following the hazing death of a pledge, LSU’s task force on Greek Life presented 28 recommendations for overseeing fraternities and sororities, including an amnesty policy and moving Greek tailgating to chapter houses. LSU President F. King Alexander plans in March to bring the recommendations to a meeting of presidents of other universities. He said a number of universities plan to adopt similar policies. However, the family of Maxwell Gruve...

    More >>
  • Law enforcement handling numerous rumors of school threats since Florida massacre

    Law enforcement handling numerous rumors of school threats since Florida massacre

    Thursday, February 22 2018 8:10 PM EST2018-02-23 01:10:08 GMT
    (Source: CNN)(Source: CNN)

    While some have been arrested-- there's no word of anyone who actually posed a  danger to students or teachers in our area.                 But, since the Florida massacre--people everywhere are on edge. And taking their fears to social media may do more harm than good. Thursday morning, Sheriff Tony Mancuso says it’s taking up a lot of time and manpower at the Calcasieu Sheriff’s Department....

    More >>

    While some have been arrested-- there's no word of anyone who actually posed a  danger to students or teachers in our area.                 But, since the Florida massacre--people everywhere are on edge. And taking their fears to social media may do more harm than good. Thursday morning, Sheriff Tony Mancuso says it’s taking up a lot of time and manpower at the Calcasieu Sheriff’s Department....

    More >>
Powered by Frankly