Should the town of Brighton acquire Camp Gabriels?

Wednesday night, community members from the town of Brighton — just north of Saranac Lake — will gather to talk about the future of the former Camp Gabriels prison.

New York has been trying to auction the property for just under $1 million, but so far there have been no takers.

In a letter sent to some residents, Brighton town supervisor John Quenell raised the idea of the town acquiring the property.

Quenell raises the specter of the property going unsold and says, “That is why we believe that now is the time for the town to take a very hard look at the possibility of making the Camp a town property.”

In his letter, which Quenell says he mailed privately at his own expense, the town supervisor suggests that the community might be able to acquire the land at zero cost.

He argues that there would be “no additional burden on the town’s taxpayers.”

In the meeting on the 26th, we will not be attempting to resolve the question of “Should we or shouldn’t we?” Rather, this session will focus on positive possibility.

We are urging that you attend if you are willing to think that way.

Quenell doesn’t say what exactly the town might use the land for, but suggests that it would generate some kind of revenue.

Brighton isn’t the only town in the Adirondacks considering this kind of move.  Town officials in Waverly are currently trying to acquire the old St. Regis Falls school building, in hopes of using that land for public use.

But Camp Gabriels is a much larger parcel — more than 90 acres — and this proposal will likely spark a lively discussion.  The meeting is at 7pm Wednesday at the Paul Smiths-Gabriels Volunteer Fire house.

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4 Comments on “Should the town of Brighton acquire Camp Gabriels?”

  1. Bret4207 says:

    Was the question regarding the legality of the State selling land within the Park ever answered?

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  2. Paul says:

    “no burden to the tax payers”? Who is going to pay the tax bill? If the answer is no one, than everyone else in the town picks up the slack in their bills.

    Who is going to maintain all the buildings? Anyone who thinks that owning property, even if you get it for nothing is free, they are nuts.

    What about Bret’s question? In an piece I read it sounded like one environmental group was threatening a lawsuit if the state goes through with the sale. Maybe that is one reason they have no buyers. This is one of the most unfriendly business states in the country and the Adirondacks really has some issues. This is a good example.

    This town should think long and hard before they take this on.

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  3. Pete Klein says:

    Only if the town is expecting a crime wave and needs the space to house prisoners.

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  4. Paul says:

    Pete,

    That is a good one. I think you have it right.

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