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Sunken WV prison plan leaves Navy base re-use plans adrift

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Re-use plans for the soon-to-be-vacated Navy Information Operations Command station at Sugar Grove, in Pendleton County, are adrift in a sea of uncertainty, following a decision earlier this month by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to not accept the base for conversion to a women's prison.

While the 122-acre installation -- West Virginia's lone active-duty military base -- was offered to the state free of charge by the federal General Services Administration for use as a Division of Corrections facility for female offenders, Tomblin said it would have taken $19 million in conversion costs to turn the base into a prison. Estimated annual operating costs of at least $14 million also factored into the decision to turn down the gift.

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