Camp Pharsalia to be closed by July 1

PHARSALIA – In a press conference held Thursday, the New York Department of Correctional Services made it clear that come July 1, Camp Pharsalia will close.

Camp Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County and Camp Gabriels in Franklin County will also be among those minimum security prisons closed despite a personal letter from New York State Senator Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton. Libous called for additional time as mandated by state legislation passed in 2008 that required a one-year mandatory notice before closing the camp.

“We negotiated a new deal over the perilous budget that suspended the one-year requirement for this one year only, so I could close these three camps. It was suspended because of the fiscal problems facing the state,” said DOCS Commissioner Brian Fischer in the phone conference yesterday. He said that state corrections department had worked with Democratic legislators and New York Gov. David Paterson’s office in reaching a temporary agreement over suspending the law.

DOCS estimates that the closures of the camps will save taxpayers $12.3 million in 2009 and an additional $14.5 million in 2008.

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