Clinton hopes to cash in on Thomson

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CLINTON - Clinton hopes its population will increase once the Thomson Correctional Center opens.

It also claims that the sale will be a big economic boost to the town. The city believes many people who end up working at the facility may actually live in Clinton.

"It's a win-win I think for anybody that lives within a 30 mile radius of the town of Thomson," Thomson home builder Otto Bruhn said.

Bruhn like others, is building a home off Mill Creek Parkway in Clinton. Developers could hit the area even more because of the $200 million yearly impact that's supposed to come to Thomson and the surrounding area.

"It's like you're living out in the country. It's a beautiful view," Bruhn said of Mill Creek Parkway. "We've talked to a lot of people out here, and they're very happy with it."

Clinton is the largest city within 20 minutes from Thomson. It sits just south of Thomson off of Highway 84. Many claim that's the perfect distance away from the prison to raise a family.

"When the prison was built, officials told us that if you take a job at the prison, you want it to be 30/30," Bruhn said. "You want to be either 30 minutes or 30 miles from Thomson. Clinton is right in that circle."

The Clinton Regional Development Corporation is certainly excited about the jobs coming to Thomson. They also claim the jobs will help Fulton and Camanche on both sides of the river.

"It's going to play into a demand for housing and infrastructure," Clinton Regional Development Corporation President Steven Ames said. "Certainly as folks spend money for housing, that's going to reverberate through the economy in a very positive way."

People have already built many homes along Mill Creek Parkway, but there is still room for a lot more. Ruhl and Ruhl Realtor Dan Dolan already owns many homes in the area.

"There's not only single home dwellings," Clinton resident Lenny Weih said. "There are also apartments, condos, and the Dan Dolan properties. I'm sure all of those will be impacted in a positive way."

Ames hopes the Thomson Correctional Center will spur support for crews to build a four lane highway for Highway 30. That goes from Clinton all the way to Sterling and beyond on the Illinois side. There is still no official word from the Federal Bureau of Prisons on when the facility may open.