Senator Helming, Assemblyman Palmesano, Local Leaders Request State Action to Address Impacts of Willard Closure

Senator Pam Helming, Assemblyman Palmesano, and local government and school district leaders in Seneca County continue to work together to address the impacts of the state’s plan to close Willard Drug Treatment Campus. They have sent the attached letter to Governor Hochul, Anthony Annucci, Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, and other state officials. 

“The Willard Drug Treatment Campus is the largest town employer and one of the largest county employers. We have expressed deep concerns to DOCCS Acting Commissioner Annucci and his staff concerning the significant negative impact this closure will have on the hundreds of employees and their families, as well as surrounding area businesses and our schools,” the group wrote in the letter.  

Among the issues they are urging the state to address are: 

- Ensuring that all Willard provisional employees are offered comparable employment positions at other area facilities.  

-Fostering opportunities for redevelopment, reuse, job creation, and economic development of the lakefront land that is part of the Willard Campus and Camp Edgemere.  

- An alternative plan for the Willard Campus’ credit union, the only one within twenty miles, and a written plan for the continued maintenance of the cemetery located on the Campus.  

- Ensuring that DOCCS and OGS bring the water treatment plant up to NYS Department of Health (DOH) standards and requiring that the state provide the Town of Romulus with the resources needed to help guide the Town with the acquisition of the water treatment plant. 

- A formal commitment of funding from DOCCS to Seneca County for required upgrades of the Willard and Five Points Wastewater Treatment Facilities. 

- Requesting that New York State provide direct funding assistance to Seneca County, the Town of Romulus, the Town of Ovid, and the surrounding communities and school districts as has been the case with other prison closures in previous years. 

“We respectfully request the various agencies work with the undersigned on the issues described in this letter to ensure that the closure of Willard presents more opportunities and benefits rather than negative consequences to the various residents and municipalities affected by this closure.”