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Counter offer approved by Village of Herkimer in jail negotiations

By PAT BAILEY

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - Village of Herkimer officials say they want more money from Herkimer County if the county is going to put a jail on the former Pharmhouse plaza property.

The county previously offered the village $20,000 per year for 20 years, with a $400,000 payment for the village to use toward sewer repairs.

Village of Herkimer Deputy Mayor Gary Hartman says village officials recently approved a counter offer to the county. Hartman says the village is seeking $58,000 per year in taxes, with escalating costs of future tax increases. There would be no cap to how many years the county would pay taxes on the site, Hartman said.

According to Hartman, the Village wants $800,000 up front for sewer repairs. The county would also be responsible for the costs to hook into the village sewer system, Hartman added.

"You would compare it to what a $30 million development would bring in," said Hartman of the proposal. "$58,000 is a drop in the bucket. Not that we are expecting a $30 million dollar development but that is what they are putting there, and that is what it would be assessed at."

Hartman says the village is 55% tax exempt, and that is why they need as much as they can from the county for a piece of property he considers to be marketable.

"I think if they would sit down and look at it, they would understand why we deserve better," Hartman said.

The Chairman of the Public Safety Committee of the Herkimer County Legislature, Len Hendrix, says the county has not yet received the proposal. Once the county does receive it, the proper committees will discuss it before acting on it, Hendrix said.

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