Money woes could force county to trump prison farm

Darlington County Council is considering a proposal to close its prison farm.

The 51-bed minimum security prison was built in the 1930's and houses state inmates with non-violent convictions.

About eleven people are employed at the farm.

The inmates perform more than 99,000 hours of labor for the Darlington County Public Works Department, as well as various other county departments.

Darlington County Administrator Dale Surrett says it cost the county about $738,000 a year to run the facility.

He says the loss of $638,000 in revenue from the state is one reason why they're considering closing the prison farm.

Surrett adds that's a heavy hit to the county's $27,090,000 budget.

Revenue from property taxes is also down, according to Surrett.

Council is holding a public hearing and second reading on the budget Monday evening.

They're expected to hold final reading next week.