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Greene lawmakers authorize $51.42M loan, lock in low interest rate

Mar 23, 2018 8:00 am

Daniel Zuckerman is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Greene County Legislature on a vote of 12 to 2, on March 21, approved a resolution to authorize a $51.42 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Agency to finance the construction of a new county jail. The action taken locked in a 3.5 percent interest rate. “You pretty much can’t get below this number for a 30-year loan,” Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said. “They [the USDA] wanted to complete the application process.” Legislators have been engaged in discussions about the possibility of a shared jail facility with Columbia County, but the Legislature's Public Safety Committee March 12, rejected a measure to authorize a feasibility study of the project. Although the loan to build a new facility has now been authorized, the shared jail proposal is not permanently off the table, Groden said, adding any legislator can bring the topic up again. Windham legislator Lori Torgersen, who, along with fellow Democrat, Catskill representative Kevin Lennon, voted against the funding resolution, was not surprised it passed. The concept of locking in a low interest rate is good if the county actually needs a new jail, she said. “The county has not done its due diligence and needs to continue to move forward in not building a jail,” Torgersen said. “We can do that and we can save the county a whole lot more money.” Discussions about a shared jail concept with Columbia County will continue, Torgersen said. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.