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Village of Herkimer squares off with Herkimer County over Jail

By MIKE LaFAVE

HERKIMER, NY (WKTV) - Herkimer County offered the Village of Herkimer a $800,000 deal to keep the wheels rolling on the proposed jail project Monday night at the Herkimer County Building. Village officials say the offer is not big enough.

Village of Herkimer Mayor, Mark Ainsworth, says if the jail is built on village land, the municipality stands to lose valuable tax revenue.

For that reason, village and county officials discussed a deal that would see the county pay the village a one-time $400,000 payment to put towards the village's sewer treatment plant, along with $20,000 yearly for 20 years.

Ainsworth that offer does not offset the loses the village could face if the jail is built.

"I think basically, the county needs to come back to the Village of Herkimer with something that's more realistic than their proposal tonight," Ainsworth said.

Although Ainsworth is not thrilled with the offer, Herkimer County Public Safety Chairman, Leonard Hendrix believes progress was mad in Monday night's negotiations.

"I think it was a healthy meeting," Hendrix said. "We had a chance to sit down and talk to the village. I know we're more aware of their concerns. I've been personally talking to the Mayor, but it brings it out to both committees and the legislature. And I think they're more aware of what our situation is."

Even if the village had been interested in the offer, nothing could have been finalized tonight. The Public Safety Committee authorized the offer. However, the Ways and Means Committee could not vote due to absentees.

The full board will vote on the offer at their July meeting. That is assuming it passes the Ways and Means Committee.

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