Press-Republican

Local News

January 20, 2010

2 local prisons doomed

(Continued)

"The loss of our work crews is going to impact all the towns."

One example of the impact, he said, is that Moriah inmate crews are now lined up to work on the Ice Castle in Saranac Lake to fill the vacancy left after the Camp Gabriels facility closed during the last round of cuts resulting in a loss of a number of work crews.

Moriah currently has 11 work crews.

Scozzafava said the inmate work crews that go into local communities will also be lost.

Wilmington Town Supervisor Randy Preston said his town can't afford that loss.

"The Town of Wilmington uses those crews extensively for our spring cleanup, our parks. We cannot afford to hire out that work."

He said state leaders apparently didn't learn anything from the way the Champlain Bridge was handled.

"It's hard for me to fathom that with the incompetence that led to that bridge closure they would do that to Moriah. They make one mistake after another in Albany."

Inmates from Moriah Shock also work on the Essex County Fairgrounds in Westport, Westport Town Supervisor Daniel Connell said.

"We've come to rely on them to cut the cost of government."

DOCS officials said they are considering having crews from other facilities work in the affected communities after the local closure.

Sayward JOINS FIGHT

Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward (R-Willsboro) said she's joining the fight to keep Moriah Shock open.

"We've already started. I have a meeting with (Department of Correction) Commissioner Fischer. My colleagues ... have pledged to help me try to get the facility open."

Sayward said she's getting documents from when Moriah Shock opened that show its rejuvenating economic impact on the community.

"We're going to try to make that same case again. We're going to get as much going as we can to keep the facility open."

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