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Prison slated to close but renovations continue at Mount McGregor

2013-09-28T16:00:00Z Prison slated to close but renovations continue at Mount McGregorMAURY THOMPSON— thompson@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star
September 28, 2013 4:00 pm  • 

WILTON — The state is spending nearly $2.8 million to replace windows and repair masonry at eight buildings at Mount McGregor Correctional Facility, just months before the facility in Wilton is to be closed.

State Sen. Kathleen Marchione, R-Halfmoon, said the construction work, which she observed during a recent tour of the prison, demonstrates that the state Department of Corrections plan to close Mount McGregor and three other correctional facilities was not well thought out.

“We have a governor who is telling us he is saving us money,” she said in a telephone interview. “And at the same time we are paying for reconstruction to the tune of millions of dollars to reconstruct a prison that’s slated to close. That makes absolutely no financial sense to me at all.”

Thomas Mailey, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections, said the construction contract was awarded in June 2012, more than a year before the department announced the prison closure plan in July 2013.

It was determined that canceling the contract would have cost as much as continuing it, because custom windows had been made, building materials already purchased, and insurance and bonding arranged, Mailey said.

Work is expected to be completed by March 15, “and when complete will leave the buildings in weather tight condition protecting these state assets,” he said.

The work was part of a capital improvement plan for the facility that the state prepared and designed in 2009 and 2010.

In July 2013, the Department of Corrections announced a plan to close Mount McGregor, a medium security prison, and three other facilities in July 2014.

The Chateguay medium-security in Franklin County, Butler medium-security prison in Wayne County and Monterey shock incarceration facility in Schuyler County also are set to close.

About 320 employees at Mount Mcgregor would be transferred to other facilities, with no layoffs, under the plan established to reduce costs in the state prison by $30 million annually, the Department of Corrections has said.

The cost of the renovations at Mount McGregor does not change the $30 million savings estimate, Mailey said.

Marchione and four other area legislators spoke at a rally New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association held at the prison Wednesday to call for the state to keep it open.

Marchione said she toured the prison later Wednesday, and saw buildings under renovation, as well as several dormitories that have recently been renovated.

“One of the things that I absolutely saw with my own eyes is that there are various ongoing renovation projects with workers, scaffolding and other construction equipment,” she said.

Marchione said she toured several dormitories, the dining hall, the chapel and the infirmary.

Marchione said the infirmary treats patients from other prisons, not just Mount McGregor.

Mailey confirmed it is the primary infirmary for Hale Creek Correctional Facility in Johnstown and Moriah shock incarceration facility in Essex County.

When Mount McGregor closes, inmates from those facilities would be treated at either Great Meadow Correctional Facility or Coxsackie Correctional Facility, he said.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(6) Comments

  1. luzerne55
    Report Abuse
    luzerne55 - September 29, 2013 3:33 pm
    In March 2010 Mt. Mcgregor was part of the department of corrections consolidate plan,one housing unit closed.Why award a contract for improvements of 2.8 million in 2012,then plan to close mt. mcgregor in 2013 MR Mailey?
  2. luzerne55
    Report Abuse
    luzerne55 - September 29, 2013 1:10 pm
    If the state had any Idea what it was doing.It would close Hale Creek,Moriah Shock and Hudson C.F.
    Open the camp back up at Mt.Mcgregor.Now you have a facility that can house over 800 inmates with a infirmary and renovations.A win for the taxpayers of new york.Three facilitys closed.
  3. Scott C
    Report Abuse
    Scott C - September 29, 2013 9:33 am
    If this Governor was serious about reducing excess capacity within the correctional system, he would first and foremost remove all top bunks that were put up when DOCCS had a lack of space for incoming inmates...now that this has been rectified with alternatives to sentencing and other programs that release the offender early back into society and the space has been freed up, now would be a good time to remove all those top bunks and THEN do a proper analysis of DOCCS and evaluate all their assets for possible consolidation and right-sizing. Until he does this first, he is only wasting $$$ that will have to be spent down the road at a higher cost when more beds are needed. He is pulling a "smoke and mirrors" trick by not removing the top bunks first.
  4. lloommiiss
    Report Abuse
    lloommiiss - September 29, 2013 7:54 am
    When I make a wrong turn(going wrong direction) I turn around. Sell the building materials,the state would have new found money !
    Was told of condo's up there some time soon ???
  5. steveusiron
    Report Abuse
    steveusiron - September 29, 2013 7:41 am
    Mt McGregor also has a 3 million dollar burn chip plant that has never burned one chip !! To bad Marchione did not see that.
  6. Bob1234
    Report Abuse
    Bob1234 - September 28, 2013 4:58 pm
    "Thomas Mailey, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections, said the construction contract was awarded in June 2012, more than a year before the department announced the prison closure plan in July 2013. It was determined that canceling the contract would have cost as much as continuing it, because custom windows had been made, building materials already purchased, and insurance and bonding arranged, Mailey said."

    This explanation from the state is pretty straightforward and easy to understand. Why does Sen. Kathleen Marchione, R-Halfmoon, not understand it? Or, in her wisdom, would the senator halt all renovation work on state-owned property on the off-chance a facility would close at some point in the future?

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