The Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls can now be sold to a private company, after a vote by the board Wednesday. The board voted to accept a new agreement with UMB Bank of Missouri, which is owed more than $100 million dollars from Wyatt Detention Facility.

The agreement allows for the sale of the detention center, though no plans are currently in the works according to the document.

Board chairman James Lombardi says he believes Wyatt would be pushed into a form of bankruptcy by UMB Bank if the board didn’t agree to the new terms.

“If the forbearance agreement wasn’t signed they would have a trustee appointed in receivership and that would take the board right out of it,” Lombardi said. “So by voting for it, we stay. We try to work from the inside to help.” 

Governor Gina Raimondo has said she opposes any privately operated prisons in the state. Activists worry the new agreement paves the way for the facility, which houses ICE detainees, to become just that.

Lombardi says by approving the new agreement, the board can begin examining refinancing options to get Wyatt out from under an unsustainable amount of debt.

“We need to find some financing to take the bondholders out, for less than fair market value,” Lombardi said. “And then once we refinance we make determinations on who we take and who we don’t.

Activists protesting the Wyatt and its holding of federal immigration detainees vow to continue demonstrating. Some say they will push for legislative action to close the facility from the General Assembly.  As of Wednesday, Wyatt held more than 700 people, including more than 150 for ICE.