Press-Republican

Local News

January 20, 2010

2 local prisons doomed

(Continued)

"If Moriah goes down, it's going to be the same as what happened at Gabriels. We're going to get an empty building with nothing there."

Camp Gabriels, located in the Essex County community of Gabriels, closed July 1, 2009.

As the Camp Gabriels site remains vacant, Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) said she doesn't "want to see the same thing happen at Lyon Mountain or Moriah."

Little said the fact that the budget would target upstate prison facilities for closure is not a surprise.

"Closures not only directly impact those employed at correctional facilities, but there's also a ripple effect that is tough for rural and economically depressed communities in the North Country to absorb."

BIG IMPACT

Dannemora Town Supervisor Americo "Ves" Pivetta called the Lyon Mountain closure "terrible."

"The correctional facility closing is very bad news to me and the residents here."

He said the facility, located in a hamlet where the population is 80-percent retired, was a financial asset to the town's tax base, especially for the water district there.

And, he said, "If they leave the building empty, it'll be total chaos and a shame. Something has to be done."

Despite the news, Pivetta remained optimistic that the town would pull through, as it did in the 1960s when local mining operations closed.

"We're a strong community, and I think we'll move forward.

"The community has to get together, and we'll figure it out. We've just got to look forward and see what we can come up with."



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