Weatherford Democrat

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June 14, 2013

Mineral Wells pre-parole transfer prison set to close

(Continued)

Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Beth Henary Watson was among the leaders who traveled to the state capitol on behalf of the CCA facility. Although the ultimate decision was not what she had hoped for, she said the local support was not in vain.

“The chamber is just really appreciative of everyone in the community – businesses and individuals – who expressed their support for CCA by calling our elected officials, sending letters, faxes and emails,” she said. “I think our voice was definitely heard and I think our city’s delegation to Austin did make a difference.”

In the face of “an uphill battle from the beginning,” Watson said she is grateful for the outpouring of concern from leaders across the region.

“We appreciate representatives Keffer and King and Sen. [Craig] Estes doing everything they could for us,” she said.

Instead of dwelling on the impending CCA closure, Watson said the chamber is available to help  affected employees rebound.

“We will do anything we can ... to help employees of CCA as they move into this new stage,” she said. Though the city faces an economic hit, Watson encouraged locals to remember the positive trends evident in expansions at PecoFacet, Valair and Watkins Metal Fabrication, among other area employers.

“There are a lot of really positive things,” she said. “The world has not ended and the town is not going to fold up and go away.”

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