The New York State Department of Corrections is spending $64,892 on new windows at a prison slated for closure next July.
Butler Correctional Facility in Wayne County is a specialized medium security prison handling inmates with drug and alcohol addictions. It is one of four prisons in New York slated for closure. So many of the people who still work at Butler wonder why the Corrections Department is spending taxpayer money on new windows.
MacDonald, Chief Steward for the Correctional Officers Association at Butler told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon, "I think it's ridiculous. I think anybody in their right mind would." MacDonald said he sees it as "more frivolous spending ...there's no checks and balances when it comes to this type of spending."
The State Department of Corrections and Community Service issued a statement in response to our story. It explained that: "the project was underway long before the decision was made to close Butler." The statement also said an investigation determined that the windows could not be used at another location and that "the cost of terminating the contract would exceed 50% of the contract due to the cost of custom windows... And would leave the buildings vulnerable to deterioration."
Kenyon talked with in nearby Red Creek agree. Bob Stanley said "Seems kind of ridiculous to me." Stanley said however he was not surprised "cause that's the way government does things."
Here is the entire text of the statement:
The window project at Butler Correctional Facility was put out to bid on 3/28/12. The contract is for $64,892. The project was underway long before the decision was made to close Butler. The special order windows had been purchased and delivered to the contractor. An investigation followed to determine if the windows could be used at another location. They could not. It was also determined that the cost of terminating the contract would exceed 50% of the contract due to the cost of the custom windows, previously purchased materials, bonds, and insurance, and would leave the buildings vulnerable to deterioration. The estimated completion date is December 6, 2013. When complete the new windows will leave the buildings in weather tight condition protecting these State assets. The investment in this project has no effect on the savings that will be achieved from the closing of the facility.