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The Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce calculates economic loss of Camp Gabriels' closure

SARANAC LAKE The closing of Camp Gabriels is not only measured by the 136 jobs that are going to be either lost or relocated within the New York State Department of Correctional Services, but also in terms of dollars into the local economy. On the average, every dollar earned into small communities, such as the ones that pepper the North Country, roll approximately five to seven times into the local economy. This is called an economic multiplier. According to Eric Kriss, Director of NYSDOCS Office of Public Information, the annual payroll of Camp Gabriels is $7.1 million. Add a conservative economic multiplier of five and the total economic impact of Camp Gabriels payroll in the North Country translates into $35 million, annually. Kriss said that when taking into consideration all of Camp Gabriels positions, the average salary at the facility is $52,216. The NYSDOCS reports that between January and November 2007, Camp Gabrielsinmates performed 66,750 hours of community service in the North Country. Translated into paid manpower hours which include an average entry-level hourly wage of $11.63 for a position at the Village of Saranac Lake, for example, and an additional $5.23 for the fringe benefits, it totals $1.13 million worth of services. Using the conservative economic multiplier of five, the volunteer hours contributed by Camp Gabriels inmates total $5.65 million for an 11-month period. The Village of Saranac Lake alone used $125,000 worth of services fromCamp Gabriels. North Country businesses also stand to lose significant business if Camp Gabriels close. According to a report submitted by the NYSDOCS, local businesses provided $119,248.89 worth of goods and services to the facility. When broken down by community,Saranac Lake businesses contributed $47,199.11 worth of business to Camp Gabriels, followed by Lake Placid with $37,696 and Plattsburgh with $19,049.16. Gabriel was fourth with $7,819.98, Ray Brook with $4,593.74, Tupper Lake with $958.36, Wilmington with $750 and Redford with $538. After factoring the economic multiplier of five, the economic impact of goods and services purchased in our communities by Camp Gabriels totals $596.244.45. When taking into consideration all of the above figures, the region stands to register an annual economic loss of almost $37 million. The Chamber realizes that this economic loss will be devastating to our local economy and is working with its Economic Development and Legislative Resources Committees to work with the state and local governments as well as business leaders to ensure CampGabriels is spared the closing.

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