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Montana town wants Gitmo detainees

May 26, 2009 at 2:37 PM

HARDIN, Mont., May 26 (UPI) -- An empty state-of-the-art prison in Hardin, Mont., is the perfect place to house detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the city council said.

The Council unanimously supports moving detainees to Hardin, which has 3,400 residents and is Montana's poorest county, CNN reported Tuesday.

"It would bring jobs. Believe it or not, it would even bring hope and opportunity," Greg Smith, Hardin's economic development director, told CNN.

Hardin borrowed $27 million in bonds to build the 464-bed Two Rivers Regional Correction Center, but it has yet to house a single prisoner since completion two years ago. Hardin residents blame politicians in the capital of Helena for keeping the prison empty.

"It's big enough you probably could build a mosque," Smith said of the prison's space.

Hardin residents, however, have mixed feelings about the proposal.

"Bottom line. I really don't want Gitmo in my backyard," said Rae Perkins, an unemployed mother of three who moved to Hardin to work at the prison.

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