The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Friday, March 18, 2005


A debate about the future of the Rensselaer County Jail has begun. City Councilman William Dunne (Dist. 4) wants the jail moved, believing it to be a waste of prime waterfront property. He'd like to see a Labor museum at that location. Troy was a key player in the industrial revolution and organized labor. A place honoring that history is a fine idea.

Sheriff Mahar wants the jail expanded and wishes it to remain sedentary. Mahar makes the point (a good one) that moving the jail would be an expensive undertaking.

Both men are right and both are wrong. Perhaps there is a compromise.

The jail cannot be moved. It's very heavy. It probably weighs well over 2000 lbs. It probably can't even be lifted, even if a whole bunch of guys helped. Still, it's a damn shame that prisoners get to live so close to the water.

Perhaps, and this is just a thought, the jail could be converted to a riverside bed & breakfast (maybe Up the River) with a jail theme and cells going for $150-$250 a night. The prisoners could be the staff, helping to work off their debt to society.

It's just a thought.

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