Herkimer County Legislator's busy meeting: County Jail, Country Manor, HCCC

By By MIKE LaFAVE

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Herkimer County Legislature voted in favor of giving the Village of Herkimer a 30 day extension to make the County a counter offer on the Herkimer County Jail proposal Wednesday night.

The Village has voted against accepting the County's $800,000 offer in return for allowing the proposed Herkimer County Jail to hook into the Village's sewer system. The Village requested 30 days to extend a counter proposal.

Some legislators are willing to sit down with village officials and discuss the counter offer. Other legislators, like Leonard Hendrix, are standing by their stance that they will not offer the village any additional money.

"Personally no, but I am one of 17," Hendrix said. "You know, I feel that offer is good. But never say never."

The County offered the Village a $400,000 lump sum payment to help renovate their sewer system, along with $20,000 payments every year for 20 years.

New York State has mandated the County build a new jail.

Country Manor

Legislators also discussed where they go, now that Valley Health Service has expressed a lack of interest in buying Country Manor.

Herkimer County's goal is to get an offer back on the table from Valley Health Services.

Tuesday, officials from Valley Health Services said asbestos problems and the cost of building maintenance made them reconsider their interest in taking over Country Manor.

Legislators Wednesday said they would investigate Valley Health Service's asbestos claims. They also committed to look into community foundation grants to help with repair costs.

But whether it be Valley Health Services or another company, the County is still looking to get out of the elder care business. It costs the County about $5,000 a year to run Country Manor.

Legislators say no county funds have been spent in the process of trying to sell the property.

Herkimer County Community College

In a vote of 14 -3, legislators voted to approve Herkimer County Community College's budget.

Some legislators voiced concern about future salary raises at the community college.

According to an HCCC employee, the county pays around 6%-8%of the school's budget. State guidelines ask local sponsors of a community college to foot the bill for a third of the budget.

The County is giving HCCC $50,000, the same amount as last year.

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