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Herkimer County Jail one step closer to reality

By By CAROLINE GABLE

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - A resolution that would allow the process for a new county jail to continue was approved by Herkimer County legislators Wednesday night. A $176,000.00 study done on the West Side of Route 28 shows the site to be in compliance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act. Legislators say the study addressed some preliminary issues in regard to building the jail that's estimated to have 130 beds, and cost $35 million.

Now the county plans to move forward with bonding, that action could happen in just two weeks time. Legislator Patrick Russell says the county is not looking to borrow all $35 million, "We wouldn't be necessarily borrowing 35, if we are looking at a $35 million price tag, we have $10 million between sales tax revenue and tobacco revenue, in order to offset that $35 million price tag. That would bring it down to $25 million. Many of us have talked about only going to a $20 million bonding process to make it a $30 million jail."

A handful of legislators voiced they want more details on the operating costs of the project while others flat out say its a misuse of money during tough economic times. Future legislation to borrow the money needs a 12 to 17 vote to pass.

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