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Officials in Albany give Herkimer County 30 days to make real progress on a county jail

By CAROLINE GABLE

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) -  The State Commission of Corrections held a meeting in Albany addressing the issue of renewing a variance for the Herkimer County Jail.The State wants the county to know, they're tired of the county "kicking the can," when it comes to building a new jail.

Officials in Albany have voted to give a variance for the jail for only 30 days, and the count down starts November 1st.  A video of the Commission of Corrections meeting was shown Wednesday night at the Herkimer County Legislators meeting.

Although the variance has been renewed in the past the commission is now citing several violations from their last site visit on October 5th. Part of the deal renewing the variance, includes updates on progress toward a County jail. The variance has served the current facility for four years.

One official in Albany shown on the video had this to say about the facility, " The physical plant that houses this jail remains to be in a deteriorating condition, and debilitated condition that is essentially not fit for use as a jail."

If the variance expires, the  facility will  have to reduce the jail's inmate numbers from 41 to 4, making it a holding and booking facility. Officials in Albany say options the county has presented towards building a new jail have either been unrealistic or not cost effective.
 
But Herkimer County Legislators say Albany has it all wrong, and they have been working diligently towards a new jail, even acquiring a site, but a sewer agreement with the Village of Herkimer has prevented them from moving forward.
If the county loses the variance, the cost of boarding out inmates is approximately $45,000 a week, that's over $2 million a year, billed to the county tax payers.

Herkimer County Legislators took up a vote Wednesday night on a $8,500 study to see if it is feasible for the county to build their own sewer system on the acquired site in the village. That vote passed 14 to 3.

 

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