Judge rules against Delta Junction on prison

Posted: Wednesday, March 08, 2000

FAIRBANKS - A court ruling means the Interior town of Delta Junction may resume talks with a company that wants to turn a nearby military base into a private prison.

Fairbanks Superior Court Judge Charles Pengilly issued a summary judgment last week in favor of Allvest Inc., which wants to develop the prison. The ruling said Delta Junction's decision to toss out a sole-source contract with Allvest was unconstitutional.

Representatives of a pro-prison group and the city said they expected Allvest and the city to resume talks soon.

City officials originally backed Allvest's plan to turn Fort Greely into a prison because of its economic promise. The Army post is slated for closure.

Allvest's concept was also approved by city and area voters in two elections. Prison opponents rallied behind a plan to base a missile defense system at the post.

The sole-source contract was awarded last March, but anti-prison residents sued and submitted a repeal petition for a citywide election. Allvest sued over the election and the city council voided the sole-source agreement.

At that point Allvest filed another lawsuit, which was the subject of Pengilly's order Friday.

Allvest officials said they hope to proceed and develop a prison providing new jobs in time for Greely's announced withdrawal in summer 2001.

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