Paterson: Moriah Shock will close

Representatives at the state level are also expressing their opposition to Paterson's proposal. Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward has pledged to help save a facility she says helps to save money for the state.

"I've already been beating the bushes and talking to a lot of my friends on the other side of the aisle. We're putting a package to make them well aware of what's going on, so that we can get some help as we go through this process as we try to make sure that Moriah stays in Moriah."

Sayward said Moriah Shock was originally put in place to help rescue the community, which had suffered greatly following the decline of the mining industry.

"Moriah Shock was put in Moriah because of the devastation in the community and the lack of jobs," she said. "We're going to go back and see if we can find documentation where that was the case so that as we move forward we can build a case for keeping Shock where it is, because there's still no jobs. In the Adirondacks it's the same old thing, once a business goes empty, nothing is going to replace it."

In addition to Moriah Shock, Paterson announced plans to close minimum security prisons at Lyon Mountain in Clinton County and Butler in Wayne County, both of which will be closed in January 2011.

The Moriah Shock facility would then close in April 2011, along with Ogdensburg medium security prison in St. Lawrence County.

"They're only closing prisons in the North Country," said Scozzafava. "You have to wonder if part of the environmental lobby has a play in this also."

"The fact that the budget would target upstate prison facilities for closure is not a surprise," said State Sen. Elizabeth Little. "Since entering the Senate, I have heard my downstate Democratic colleagues repeatedly call to close our upstate facilities, often citing what they believe to be an unfair counting of inmates in the federal census."

"Closures not only directly impact those employed at correctional facilities, but there's also a ripple effect that is tough for rural and economically depressed communities in the North Country to absorb," Little added. "Camp Gabriels, closed last year, now sits empty. I don't want to see the same thing happen at Lyon Mountain or Moriah."

WNBZ news manager Chris Morris contributed to this report.

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