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Village of Herkimer Board rejects Herkimer County proposal on sewer, plans to counter offer

By CAROLINE GABLE

Herkimer, NY (WKTV) - The Village Of Herkimer Board is unified in their decision to reject a proposal from Herkimer County that would aid in the payment for a sewer plan upgrade, as long as they allow the county build a jail that hooks into the new sewer system.

Board members are asking County officials for a 30 day extension. During that time they'd like to sit down and have a dialog with the County. At the end of that thirty days, the Village will present a counter proposal to the County.

County Legislators have previously said they won't go any higher on their offer, saying they aren't obligated to pay the Village of Herkimer anything.

The counties offer is for $400,000.00, followed by $20,000.00 for twenty years. But the village board has crunched the numbers and they say that amount is not even close to being enough.

Herkimer Mayor Mark Ainsworth says the county needs to let them in if this project is going to work.

"This is a tough decision, I don't think we make it lightly, we are obligated to represent residents and look out for their best interest and to make sure our residents are protected and that's what we're doing," said Ainsworth following the meeting Wednesday night.

In previous meetings the majority of residents have expressed they don't want a jail, but board members focused on the offer on the table, not the principle of the jail.

Residents also voiced concerns about the status of the land the jail would be build on as tax exempt property, which at the end of the day means residents taxes would go up.

The state has mandated that Herkimer County build a new jail.

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