Local News

October 3, 2009

Local officials rap camp re-use effort

Critical of marketing put into Gabriels


"There was more in Commissioner Fischer's report about the potential demolition of Camp Gabriels buildings than about viable alternative uses.

"Commissioner Fisher states, 'in a mere three months, DOCS has made significant progress decommissioning the camps, but limited progress determining any possible alternate uses for these facilities.' Why is that?

"It seems DOCS has put significantly more (resources) into justifying the closure than it has into developing the required Reuse Plan," Delarm said.

DOCS officials couldn't be reached Saturday for comment.


When the state announced its intention to close the prison last March, St. Joseph's Rehabilitation Center, based in Saranac Lake, created a model program to provide addiction treatment for inmates leaving incarceration.

"We talked with (the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services) about that," Little said, "and their theory is Gabriels is too far from metropolitan areas, and they want to transition residents back into their own communities."


The idea to build a solar-panel fabrication plant at the Gabriels campus remains alive in nascent stages.

Brian McManus, co-founder of Mountain Sun Solar, based in Jay, said they are looking to build a solar-panel manufacturing center and solar farm producing 12 megawatts of power.

"That power would go into various solar farms around New York and in the Northeast. We would produce the panels we use. We've sold the power produced already."

McManus toured several sites, including the former Oval Wood Dish/Jarden Plastics plant in Tupper Lake and the business park in Harrietstown.

What interests him most about Gabriels is the infrastructure.

"In order to qualify for stimulus funding, the project has to be ready by 2010. That's the problem with Gabriels. I was referred by DOCS to the Office of General Services, and they told me they probably wouldn't be ready to turn Gabriels over until midsummer. That timing wouldn't work right away, so we're looking at other sites. OWD is still a possibility."

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