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September 28, 2013

Malone backs Chateaugay prison

MALONE — The Malone Town Council backed a resolution to keep Chateaugay Correctional Facility open beyond its targeted closure date of July 2014.

And council members intend to show up at a community rally set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, in Chateaugay to show their support for retention of the medium-security prison.

Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) and Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R-Peru) are also expected to attend.

“It’s important to get behind this,” said Town Councilor Paul Walbridge, who is also employed by the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

“Those 111 jobs need to be saved. If we allow this to happen, it will continue.”

Chateaugay is one of four prisons scheduled to close July 26, 2014, along with Monterey Shock in Schuyler County, Butler Correctional Facility in Wayne County and Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility in Saratoga County.

The Chateaugay site, which opened in 1990, houses more than 200 parole violators who have short sentences left to serve.

Correction officials have said all employees will be absorbed into other prisons, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said $100 million will be available to the impacted communities to adjust to the closures.

Community leaders in Chateaugay formed a task force to combat the pending closure; members are Town Supervisor Don Bilow, Town Councilors Greg Janisewski and Bill Trombly, Malone Village Mayor Jason LaPlante, Deputy Mayor Bob Bessette and Franklin County Legislature Chairman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay).

Their approach is to thoroughly explore the devastating economic ramifications they believe would result if the correctional facility closes and its jobs are taken away.

This is the third time in recent years that a state prison in the region has been tagged for closure by the state. Camp Gabriels was lost in 2009, and Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility was closed on 2011.

Email Denise A. Raymo:draymo@pressrepublican.com

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