Press-Republican

Local News

April 6, 2014

Funding, support for DA's proposal

MALONE — A proposed reuse plan for the former Army Reserve Center here has the endorsement of three entities that provide protective services to Franklin County residents.

District Attorney Derek Champagne has applied for ownership of the property through the U.S. General Services Administration to house the county Public Health Nursing Service, equipment for the County Emergency Services Department, existing law-enforcement associates, the Sheriff’s Department Civil Office and a proposed New York State Crime Analysis Center.

ANTI-CRIME USES

He hopes to use it for his County Narcotics and Border Task Force and to house an expanded New York State Division of Criminal Justice license-plate reader project, which he says could greatly improve current surveillance capabilities.

He also wants to have Malone designated a Crime Analysis Center to be the clearinghouse for ongoing investigation information for the nine northernmost counties of the state along the U.S. border with Canada.

Coupled with that is a proposal to bring the Sheriff’s Department Civil Office operation to the new site, freeing up space at the often overcrowded jail.

There is a full gymnasium that could be used as a shelter for hundreds of people if a large-scale disaster struck, and the property includes a kitchen and maintenance building.

‘EXTRAORDINARY’ SAVINGS

Champagne said he already has more than $200,000 available to renovate the space, using asset-seizure funding and a verbal commitment for another $60,000 to furnish and renovate the facility from the New York/New Jersey High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program.

And there is also a possible $110,000 available through Public Health that could be applied to the upkeep, maintenance and utility bills at the new site, he said.

“It is rare that a facility comes along which is already designed and suited to the needs of law enforcement, Emergency Services and Public Health and allows for appropriate expansion for these entities with minimal expense,” Champagne wrote in his application.

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