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Warren County is one of three finalists for a 1,000-bed, medium-security state prison that would create 350 jobs in the region and bring almost $10 million in yearly income.

The county is working against a Dec. 23 deadline for applications to build one of two prisons in Western Pennsylvania. The prisons must be operating by the end of 1993, according to state officials.

"The deadline is very, very tight on this project. I think that is a big concern . . . with only two other counties interested, we are definitely in the finals," Tim Greelund, chairman of the Warren County Commissioners, said Saturday. The other counties are Clarion and Forest.

A Correctional Institution Advisory Committee, formed by the commissioners with members from all over the county, has formally voted to proceed with the prison application. It will send representatives to the state capital Wednesday to discuss Warren County's proposition with the State General Services Administration and the Bureau of Corrections.

According to Greelund, the $80 million prison would be financed by the state. "We would not incur any debt. . . . We will float general revenue bonds that would be guaranteed by the commonwealth over a 20-year lease," he said.

The prison would be built on a 160-acre county site. Final consideration of the site development plan and location is set for next April.

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