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Bladen-County-SealBladen County may soon own the former Bladen County Correctional Center.

The North Carolina General Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill that would transfer ownership of the facility to Bladen County for $1. The bill now goes to Gov. McCrory for his approval.

If, as expected, McCrory signs the bill, Bladen County will own all of the “fenced-off area of the property,” according to the bill, which includes the buildings, on Oct. 1. The bill requires the property be utilized only for county government purposes.

The facility, located on U.S. 701 between Elizabethtown and White Lake, has been vacant since the state closed the center in October 2013. About 50 people were working at the Bladen center when it was closed.

Bladen Correctional Center was one of four prisons closed that year. The others were Duplin Correctional Center, Robeson Correctional Center and Wayne Correctional Center.

The bill was filed in the legislature March 25 by Sen. Harry Brown. It passed the Senate on April 29, then passed unanimously in the House on Aug. 13 before being concurred by the Senate on Tuesday and ratified Wednesday.

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