County requests USDA funding for new jail
Daniel Zuckerman is reporting in The Daily Mail the Greene County Legislature is seeking $46 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to finance the construction of the proposed county jail. A resolution was approved at a meeting of the full legislature, Mon., Mar. 20. If awarded, the USDA funds would be used to pay off construction loans and help relieve the debt incurred as a result of the project over a 30-year period. The federal loan would carry an interest rate of 2.75 percent, but not be available to the county until after the project is completed. Construction loans and general obligation bonds will be sought to pay the contractors involved with the project, Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said. “It’s not unusual for federal grants to be reimbursement grants,” Groden said. “Think of it as a mortgage — a 30-year mortgage.” Groden said a vote on the bond resolution remains before the entire project is approved. A super majority of the legislature, or 10 votes, will be required for the project to move forward. The $46 million sought from the USDA is the current estimated cost of the new facility, $8 million less than a previous rough calculation. The ultimate size and cost of the new jail continues to be a point of disagreement among elected officials. Read the full story in The Daily Mail.