Watch The Entire Wood Co. Commission Hearing On Proposed Work Release Center

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Residents are expressing concern about the possibility of a work release facility making its way into the area, but those working to bring it in say there's nothing to fear.

The idea is to make the former Holiday Inn off 7th Street, near the intersection of I-77 and Rt. 50, into a place for non-violent inmates trying to work their way back into society.

West Virginia Division of Corrections Commissioner, Jim Rubenstein, met with Wood County commissioners Thursday morning to discuss the project.

Rubenstein says the facility would bring in 40 to 45 jobs, as well as allowing the inmates to assist in community and county-wide projects.

However, those living in the area have some concerns.

"It's 150 yards from my grandmother's house. It's 200 yards from my grandfather's house. My uncle's house is a couple hundred yards away, and my kids play in that area," Jamie Spears, a resident, said.

"I got grandkids up there; eight and five, that you don't want around criminals," Ron Watson, a resident, said.

Neighbors say along with the safety issues, they also worry about property value.

Rubenstein says he wishes to address all concerns from the community by having town hall meetings sometime later this summer or in the early fall.

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