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Meter thieves stripped Syracuse of $2.9 million

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Syracuse is embroiled in a lawsuit with a contractor over theft from parking meters.

Thieves in Syracuse used a series of hacks to steal $2.9 million from city parking meters, reports John O'Brien at the Post-Standard:

The city fixed 25 to 30 of the sabotaged pay stations at a total cost of between $60,000 and $75,000, said Peter O’Connor, commissioner of the city’s Department of Public Works. At the time, city officials assumed it was the work of a disgruntled former employee, O’Connor said. And everyone assumed the drop in parking revenues over the years was a result of homeless people smashing the old, easily accessible meter heads and walking off with the spilled contents, he said. “Everybody kept blaming it on street people,” O’Connor said. “They thought, ‘A street person knows they can knock this head off and get that money easy.’”

EPA official talks Hudson clean-up

The Poughkeepsie Journal has excerpts of its conversation with federal Environmental Protection Agency officials about PCBs in the Hudson River, from a recent editorial board meeting:

[Poughkeepsie Journal:] So, what's the update on the Hudson River project? [EPA regional administrator Judith] Enck: Well, the update is really positive. We've started the second phase and the final phase of Hudson River PCB dredging up in Washington County … about 90 percent of the targeted PCBs will come out of the river as part of phase two. … It's going very well; large quantities of PCBs are being removed from the river, and when we remove the PCBs from Washington County and Rensselaer County, it means (they) won't eventually make (their) way to Dutchess County and Ulster County.

Loss of prison labor

The closure of "Camp Georgetown" will also mark the end of free labor from inmates, reports Alaina Potrikus at the Post-Standard, as prison closures take place across New York:

A few years ago, the camp reported inmates did 111,580 hours of community service in one year. “Many of the projects completed by Camp Georgetown might not have been considered at all due to a lack of funding and manpower,” said Madison County Landfill Director Jim Zecca. Madison County was told the inmate work crews could disappear within two weeks, as prison officials begin shipping inmates to other facilities and closing buildings, Zecca said.

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