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What Should The State Do With McNeil Island?

You can learn about its plans Tuesday at an open house at the Environmental Services Building.

  • WHAT: Open house for long-range planning process on McNeil Island
  • WHEN: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday
  • WHERE: , East and West Buildings, Chambers Creek Properties

The Washington State Legislature directed the Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM) to prepare a report to use to initiate a comprehensive, long-range planning process for the future of McNeil Island during the 2013-15 Biennium. The report is due to the Governor and Legislature by October 1, 2012. Attached is an overview of the project underway to complete the report.

One of the report components is a summary of consultation with interested parties. OFM and its consultant team, BERK, are hosting two open houses in late August that are open to all. The open houses are designed to provide more information about the project underway and gather thoughts on planning for the Island’s future.

Brent Champaco August 24, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Nice, Dan! I don't know many of the personalities who've gone through there, but I had a cousin who was a guard there. So in his honor, I offer: Prison guard porter Give me a few more minutes and I'll come up more :)
Ann Burkly August 28, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Lol, love the beer puns! Seriously though, McNeil is owned by the Federal Government and is leased to the state as long as it serves as a prison. Fish & Wildlife controls 70% of the island as a wildlife & marine sanctuary, but millions of dollars in recently renovated facilities are going to waste out there. McNeil was totally updated to earn a 2010 National A+ rating by the American Correctional Association. In 2009 the Ferry Slip was redone for $1.65 million. Feasible, economically sound State uses for McNeil should utilize the $19 million in improvements there since the MICC closed in 2011. Hard to believe, but post-closing in 2011-2012, thanks to taxpayer dollars, McNeil got: a new sewer system, new fiber optics and newly paved roads. That's besides all the infrastructure, such as historic sites that have been there since the 1880s, or the inmate built homes based upon the designs of the Architectural firm, "Heath, Gove & Bell." Also two cell blocks were built in 1995 and the 2005 Special Commitment Camp cost $346 million, including $63k for a mural and $109k for a cement planter. These new facilities should be used constructively to benefit the state taxpayer. Transitory housing for the mentally-ill or first time non-violent offenders, who could learn trades through workfare on McNeil while rehabilitating would solve a lot of societal problems, lower unemployment, revive the local economy and keep McNeil protected and environmentally pristine - a win-win-win!
R August 28, 2012 at 04:18 AM
how bout putting all the SEX offenders there! and let them fend for themselves!! No help from the outside, oh yeah might be helpful if you put a 20ft wall and a mote around the wall and put alligators in it :) just saying way better use of tax payers $$ than turning into some country club for golfers!!
Ann Burkly August 28, 2012 at 12:05 PM
A Predator Island is a great idea! WA state is 1200 short on inmate housing, and will be paying to put cons elsewhere in 2013, and 1200 is the exact number of beds lost when they shut McNeil, despite all 2009 OFM/Consultant recommendations to the contrary. Constructively using McNeil as a Predator Island will bring in $$$. Instead of us paying other states to house inmates, WA could take in $$$ by housing our and other states' sex offenders on McNeil! That would be a proactive and efficient use of the expensive facilities there and a way to keep McNeil in State hands without it reverting back to the Federal Government and the state losing all the $$$ WA taxpayers have sunk into it! Maybe a reality show could be based there, periodically sex offenders could be loosed on island, while the others searched for them.... Survival: Predator Island!
Maryjane MacDonald August 28, 2012 at 05:05 PM
I don't think the island should become available to the private sector. I like the idea of it becoming a camp ground (state run),and not limiting it to a boy or girl scout camp site. The Special Commitment Center has cost the state tons of money to build and maintain. If it were to move to the mainland, there would be an uproar....and a new facility would have to be found or built. I don't think it could remain on the island if campgrounds were developed. The bottom line for me is that it remain a pristine non commercially ravaged island.

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