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Tamms closure impact on town months later

Published: Jun. 13, 2013 at 11:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2013 at 12:02 AM CDT
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The diner in particular used to deliver lunches multiple times a day, now they rely on a few...
The diner in particular used to deliver lunches multiple times a day, now they rely on a few sit-ins.
Riston said he’s hopeful to bring back his regular hours after summer.
Riston said he’s hopeful to bring back his regular hours after summer.

TAMMS, IL (KFVS) - The last five inmates housed at Tamms Supermax Prison were moved out almost six months ago.

The Tamms Correctional Facility was this village's biggest contributor when it came to bringing in traffic from employees and families of inmates.

In January, when the facility closed, it took with it those reliable customers to the town's shops and its only diner.

We talked to some people who say that the closing sparked a lot of people to put their houses up for sale and head out too, many of those used to be employed at the prison.

The diner in particular used to deliver lunches multiple times a day, now they rely on a few sit-ins. This had them change the way they run their businesses in order to keep it running.

"We are the only small restaurant in town," said Tom Riston, owner of Tom's Place. "Business was real good, but it hurt us a lot when the prison closed, you know, a few months ago back to three days a week."

Riston said he's hopeful to bring back his regular hours after summer.

Many other people say the loss of Tamms was devastating blow to the village of less than 800. In the last six months, a flower shop closed its doors and a small shop recently brought in tanning beds to attract more customers, which she said has helped.

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