Friday, November 18, 2011

Southwest Ranches Update

Hola - sorry for the barrage of Florida private prison news, but there's still so much fun going on in Southwest Ranches/Pembroke Pines that I couldn't help myself.  I'm going to try to just give a brief, bullet-point digest of the news I want to highlight regarding the immigration detention center that no one but CCA seems to want.

  • First, the mayor of Pembroke Pines, the town which Southwest Ranches was carved out of a little more than a decade ago and which is on the hook to provide fire and other services to the prison, is miffed because he feels the plan was forced through without the consideration of his town's elected officials.
  • Pembroke Pines then threatened to end the contract to provide the services, given the public outcry over the facility.  So CCA, stand-up company that they are, threatened to sue the town to force it to provide fire and emergency services.  I guess clearing more than $13 million in profit per month doesn't prohibit them from trying to force governments to give them even more money.  Negotiations involving things like sewer, fire, and emergency services with these prisons always seem to get ugly.
  • Also, an interesting little piece on how CCA got the support of some national politicians from Florida for the project, but at the same time was concerned about bringing too much attention to it (maybe because they knew the public would not approve).
  • Finally, given all the commotion about the proposed detention center, it looks like Pembroke Pines will put off a vote on how they should proceed with the water/sewer services contract until next month.  It's probably good that they're taking time to figure out because, as the vice mayor said, "What is being proposed now is so wrong for our community."

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