Press-Republican

Local News

March 30, 2010

Democrats version of budget closes ORDA, prisons

MORIAH — State Senate budget proposals passed Monday would shutter the Olympic Regional Development Authority and Moriah Shock and Lyon Mountain prisons.

However, the plan would undo the closure of 41 state parks and historic sites, including Point au Roche Park, Macomb Park and John Brown Farm.

State Senate leaders apparently went along with Gov. David Paterson's plan to close Moriah Shock and Lyon Mountain Incarceration facilities.

OGDENSBURG SPARED

The Senate version of the budget released Monday closes Moriah Shock and Lyon Mountain but keeps Ogdensburg State Correctional Facility open.

Sen. Darrel Aubertine (D-Cape Vincent) secured passage of a resolution to keep Ogdensburg, in his district, open.

Daniel E. Mac Entee, director of communications for Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury), said changes are still being made to the spending plan.

"The Senate Democrats are recommending keeping Ogdensburg medium-security open while closing Lyon Mountain, Moriah Shock and Butler (in) Wayne County. Total savings projected is $3.3 million."

Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava said he was disappointed, but it's early in the process.

"We still have negotiations. It's not definite. This is just the beginning."

He said Paterson's office has held positive meetings with Essex County representatives about keeping Moriah Shock open.

"I understand the politics of this, but we're still going to lobby the legislature and the governor's office."

The governor's proposed budget would close Moriah Shock and Lyon Mountain early in 2011 to save money.

PARKS FUNDED

The Senate plan would cancel Paterson's controversial plan to close some state parks and historical sites, including John Brown Farm in North Elba, Point au Roche State Park in Beekmantown and Macomb State Park in Schuyler Falls.

But Monday's outline isn't the Senate's final budget proposal, just a resolution to begin holding conference committees and detailed talks.

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