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Plans unveiled for new Herkimer County Jail

By NICOLE HART

HERKIMER, NY (WKTV) - The final plans for the Herkimer County Correctional Facility and Public Safety Building were unveiled on Wednesday night. Finally, blue prints, a project schedule and a total cost for the project that has been in the works for the last 14 years.

County administrator, Jim Wallace says, "Do you rent your house or do you buy your house? When you can afford to buy your house, you buy your house because after a certain period of time, you've paid for it and you move on."

A new "house" with a price tag of $33,185,000 and just where will this money come from? According to Wallace, "All of the money comes from the tax payers. We're looking to borrow probably $18.2 million dollars."

Wallace says it will come from the sales- tax payers, not the property tax payers. With a one quarter percent sales tax that has been in place for a few years and will continue, tobacco money, and some money that was in a fund; over a 16 year period, the facility will be paid off and money can start to be saved.

"We're looking at this as a way to save 6, 7, 8 hundred thousand dollars for the property taxpayers which could keep our Meals on Wheels programs, which could keep some of our public health programs," said Wallace.

The current jail facility only holds a little more than 30 inmates of the estimated 60 they have, forcing the county to shell out $1,000,000 to board the inmates elsewhere.

The new facility will house over 100 inmates, ultimately saving that expense.

Construction is set to begin in August of 2012 and the opening of the facility is expected in June of 2014.

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