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Herkimer County Officials reveal options to help cover new jail costs

By HILARY LANE

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) Plans for a new $33 million dollar correctional facility in Herkimer County have been on the table for years. The current correctional facility is over 30 years old and is need of significant repairs. Also, many of the inmates need to be boarded out to other locations because of overcrowding. This costs the county over a million dollars a year.

Monday, Herkimer County Chairman Vincent Bono put the following options forward to help begin the process of building a new jail at the P&C site on Route 28.

Option 1: $150,000 sewer hook up fee to be paid by the County to the Village.

A settlement of an old lawsuit in which the village owes the county $133,000 dollars.

The county would pay double and a half the residential rate for water and would pay almost double the residential rate for sewer.

Option 2: Flat rate of $1 million would be paid to the village throughout the entire build out of the jail.

$155,000 sewer hook-up fee to be paid by the county.

Option 3:.Flat rate of $600,000 would be paid to the village

Herkimer's share of $300,000 of sales tax revenue would be reinstated after first 2 years, which would bring in $20 thousand dollars annually.

Herkimer's share of $600,000 of sales tax revenue would be reinstated 3 years and beyond, which would bring in approximately $40,000.

The county chairman says he has received no response from the mayor or village board.

"You have to remember this is not a state penententiary we are building," said Vincent Bono, Herkimer County Chairman. " This is a county jail . Every county has to have a jail. These are already people in the community, they live, here, they live next to you and I."

It is important to note that both the village and county are awaiting the verdict of a lawsuit in which the county sued the village for not allowing them access to the sewer at the proposed PC site and also redistricting the site to not allow for a jail after the county expressed interest.

"This approach appears to be a bully-like tactic to try to force Herkimer into providing water and sewer for a new jail and further increase the amount of tax-exempt property," said Herkimer Legislators Gary Hartman, Helen Rose, and Robert Schrader, who all represent the Village.

Village Mayor Mark Ainsworth who said he is waiting to receive options in writing. He would then hold public forums but he said most residents are against the jail making it unlikely he would agree to Bono's options.

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