Wayne County officials say time is running out to develop the former Butler Correctional Facility, but they’re hopeful the property has a future.
Officials are hopeful, but say site is deteriorating
Wolcott Town Supervisor Lynn Chatfield told the Finger Lakes Times he recently was given a tour by state officials, noting that some improvements have been made. It’s not the first time he toured Butler. The state gave a similar tour four years ago. At the time, Empire State Development had issued a request for proposals, but with no takers, the request was canceled.
Chatfield is familiar with Butler, having worked there for just under ten years, running its sewage treatment facility, then later being in charge of maintenance.
In May, Governor Kathy Hochul launched the Prison Redevelopment Commission to try to give new life to correctional facilities shut down by the state in recent years. Butler was closed in 2014, after serving as a boot camp for first-time drug offenders.
Wayne County Administrator Rick House, who took the tour, says Butler has a lot to offer a developer, including utilities and high-speed internet access. While Assemblyman Brian Manktelow, who also went on the tour, is hopeful for redevelopment, he says time is running out, noting that the property is deteriorating.
Related: What’s next for Willard Drug Treatment, Butler Correctional facilities?
Senator Helming has shared concerns with the state
State Senator Pam Helming issued a statement after taking the tour, “On multiple occasions, I have shared my concerns about the closed Butler Correctional Facility with the Governor’s Office and the New York State Division of Correction and Community Supervision,”’ she said. “These conversations have centered around the critical need to put this facility back into productive use in a manner that generates revenue to support area residents and the local economy. As the state develops recommendations on reuse, it is imperative that they streamline the state’s current cumbersome development process. A process I have been told has resulted in lost business opportunities for our area. I am hopeful the formation of a commission is a step in the right direction.”
The Governor says state funding could be made available to develop the property. Local officials say it’s up to the state to make the next move.
Related: Upstate Republicans hammer Hochul, Democrats over closure of more prisons: Willard to shutter in March 2022
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