State: Budget factors forced Rogers closure

SHERBURNE – During a New York State Assembly hearing Thursday, Department of Environmental Conservation officials confirmed that Rogers Environmental Education Center in Sherburne and Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center in Dutchess County would be among those to close as the governor’s office attempts to save $250 million by laying off nearly 900 state workers by the end of the year.

New York State Division of the Budget spokesman Erik Kriss reported no specific date has been set for the closures, but added the office was aiming to complete the layoffs by Dec. 31.

Governor David Paterson said 898 state employees across a number of state agencies would be affected, including about 150 from the DEC, at least five of whom work at the local Rogers Center.

Rogers Director Marsha Guzewich’s position is among those being eliminated and she confirmed four other full-time employees will be laid off by the end of the year. Guzewich said the center, which has been operating wildlife and nature educational programs since 1968, would most likely close by Dec. 31. She also said the center’s regular spring activities had already been canceled.

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