Tours of former Chateaugay Correctional Facility generating interest among potential buyers

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CHATEAUGAY — The pending auction of the former Chateaugay Correctional Facility has generated multiple telephone calls to the village mayor with questions about the possible costs of establishing a new use for the property.

“There’s a lot of interest in it,” Mayor Matthew Clarke told members of the Village Board earlier this week, noting he has received a call or two a day for the past month.

Clarke said the callers have focused on two areas of concern — sewer rates and the property tax rate. However, the mayor said he has been unable to supply the answers the callers were seeking, except in general terms.

Sewer rates are determined by usage, Clarke noted, and none of the callers would say what their potential plans for the facility are. Without knowing what the property would be used for, it is impossible to even estimate possible sewer charges, he said.

In 2013, the last full year the prison was operating, the village received roughly $56,000 through sewer charges.

Clarke said he referred questions about the tax rate to town of Chateaugay Supervisor Don Bilow, as the facility sits outside the village.

The state Office of General Services has scheduled six tours of the property for prospective buyers. Four have already been held; the remaining two are set for July 9 and 10.

The auction is scheduled to be held on July 24.

OGS has set a minimum bid of $100,000 for the property, which consists of 30 buildings set on a 20-acre fenced area and 80 acres outside the prison walls.

The Chateaugay Correctional Facility was closed in July 2014 as part of a plan by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to reduce the number of state prisons. Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency, made attempts to market the property to prospective buyers, while the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision continued to own the property. Four potential developers from Florida and downstate New York toured the facility in August 2014 along with state officials, but no buyer came forward.

The facility was declared surplus property which was “no longer useful or necessary to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision,” according to an April letter from the OGS to the Chateaugay Town Board from last month.

The property was “abandoned” to OGS for “sale or other disposition as Unappropriated State Land.”

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