Rally to keep Chateaugay prison open

CHATEAUGAY – A rally to spread the word about the potential effects of New York state’s closing of the Chateaugay Correctional Facility will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Chateaugay Recreation Park.

The prison is scheduled to close on July 26, 2014. Franklin County Board of Legislators Chairman Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay, says the closure will eliminate 111 jobs totaling $7.8 million in payroll a year and will also eliminate $53,000 a year in revenue for the wastewater treatment facility in the village of Chateaugay, which will result in a significant sewer fee increase for village residents.

Jones’ press release also cited the closure of the Camp Gabriels and Lyon Mountain correctional facilities as evidence that the potential for resale of the Chateaugay Correctional Facility is limited. No one has bought either of those prisons, which closed in 2009 and 2011, respectively.

The rally will focus on the effect of the closure to businesses, school districts and property values in the region. Jones will introduce the speakers at the rally at 11:30 a.m. The speakers will include state Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, Chateaugay village Mayor Jason LaPlante, Chateaugay town Supervisor Don Bilow, New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association Legislative Chairman Don Rowe, Public Employees Federation Region 7 Coordinator Tom Donahue, and business owners from the Chateaugay area.

A public comment period will follow the speakers. Free hot dogs, hamburgers, beverages, T-shirts and entertainment will be available.