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Awaiting numbers on big savings

Insight regarding the closure of the Gowanda Correctional Facility should not have come this late. State Sen. George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, asked the acting commissioner for the state corrections facility about a Freedom of Information Law request by the Gowanda Area Redevelopment Corp. regarding the projected savings of the shuttering of the institution.

To be fair, there was a lot of runaround. “You’re claiming $89 million in savings for closing these three facilities, so the request was made to see those savings and exactly where those savings are,” Borrello said. “Somehow they were notified that in order to produce that, it’s going to take until sometime between now and April 2. This is a request that went in in January. My question to you is if you made the determination to close these facilities based on savings, then how could that data take three months to procure and deliver to this FOIL request when that should have been what you used to make that determination. Shouldn’t you just be able to pretty much instantly turn that over? Why would it take so long to show what savings would be made?”

Gowanda’s announced closing — right before Christmas — stunned a community. Seeking answers is a simple request.

Of course, when dealing with Albany, nothing comes easy.

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