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Louisiana borrowing to build new women’s prison after flood

August 22, 2021 GMT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana will borrow up to $46 million to help cover the costs of building a new women’s prison to replace facilities damaged five years ago in heavy flooding that ravaged the Baton Rouge region.

The State Bond Commission agreed without objection to the borrowing plan submitted by the state corrections department. The borrowing will be done through bond sales to investors to generate the upfront cash, paid off with interest over up to 30 years.

That money will combine with other federal and state financing to pay for the full $114 million cost of the new facility.

Construction on the new women’s prison in St. Gabriel is expected to begin in September, with the work expected to be completed by October 2023, according to information provided to the Bond Commission.

The project will replace the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women that was damaged in the August 2016 floods. That facility in St. Gabriel was the only women’s prison in Louisiana. Since the flooding, female prisoners have been housed across several state prisons and local jails.

In addition to the borrowing, the state will use $34 million in disaster aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, insurance proceeds and other state financing to pay for the full $114 million construction cost.