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Missouri state penitentiary repair costs could be split between city and state

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon says the state will help finance the estimated $2 million needed to remove mold and make repairs at the historic Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City.

The prison has become a major attraction since it stopped housing inmates in 2004, but high levels of mold forced officials to close it to the public in October. Officials say it had been on pace for more than 20,000 visitors this year.

Nixon said Wednesday the state and the Jefferson City government will share the costs evenly, with a goal of resuming public tours next spring. Three buildings and the gas chamber will be repaired.

The penitentiary began housing inmates in 1836 and was the oldest continually operating prison west of the Mississippi River when it closed.

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