Willacy Co. Prison to be Inspected Next Week

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RAYMONDVILLE – The owners of Willacy County Detention Center are taking a step forward in the process of its reopening. The facility sat vacant for more than two years.

The shutdown hurt local businesses, like Diana Castillo’s, owner of Grandma’s kitchen. But with the potential of opening soon, she will welcome the new business.

“I’d like it. I think maybe 20, 25 percent would help me. We’re doing good now, I’m not complaining. But it would be a lot better,” Diana Castillo, owner of Grandma’s Kitchen, said.

The city of Raymondville officials and Management and Training Corporation, the owners of the Willacy County Detention Center, met on Wednesday. They set a date for the city and MTC to inspect the building.

The inspection is set for Monday at 10:00 a.m.

Raymondville Mayor Gilbert Gonzales said MTC representatives told him they are eager to reopen the prison.

“They’re going to start working on the facility itself right now to start repairing the damage, and also to make sure they’re up to specs. We’ll have our code enforcement officer here,” he said.

MTC hasn’t set up a contract with the Board of Prisons or Immigration and Customs Enforcement to house detainees. Gonzalez said MTC contractually has until October to open the prison.

“After they sealed the deal, they have five months to close a deal, like 150 days to be able to open up,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales said he is confident MTC will open up by October.

He said representatives from MTC he spoke with said when they have a contract for the building, it will be ready.

It still isn’t known exactly how many jobs will be brought to Raymondville. 

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