HERKIMER – The Herkimer County Jail has been closed for several days following a water main break last week.
Herkimer County Sheriff Christopher Farber said the water main that supplies water to the jail broke around 9 p.m. Wednesday, and it was severe enough that all of the inmates had to be moved from the facility. Farber says that the Oneida County Jail had room available and all 27 inmates were moved there.
Farber says he's proud of the way the Sheriff's Office's staff handled the situation, and that everything was done smoothly, safely and securely.
Farber says a new water main is currently being built, “It’s going to tie into the main that’s on the street, bring it under the blacktop area in the driveway and then tie into the entrance that goes into the facility. The old one is cast-iron m, it’s about 40 years old and the life expectancy of a cast-iron waterline is about 40 years so it’s time to replace it anyway, it doesn’t make sense to fix it."
Farber says the new water main is expected to be complete in the next couple of days, then the water has to be tested, but he says what will hold up the re-opening of the jail is getting the outdoor recreation area fixed and deemed safe by the state, as it is state requirement that a correctional facility have an outdoor recreational area for inmates to go.
There’s no time estimate on how long those repairs will take.
Farber says the cost to put in the new water main is about $50,000 and the cost to house all 27 inmates temporarily elsewhere, currently at the Oneida County jail is $3,000 per day, “We want to try to get this done as quickly as possible and dine the right way."
As far as where the money will come from to pay for this unexpected expense, Farber says, “I’m not sure where the funding is coming from for this. Obviously we don’t have this built into our budget."
NEWSChannel 2 crews are headed to Herkimer to meet with Sheriff Farber. Check back to WKTV.com later for the full story.