No jail funding in tentative county budget
Daniel Zuckerman is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the proposed $113 million Greene County budget for 2018 does not provide for any funding for a new county jail. Lawmakers put the jail project on hold until the legislature's Alternatives to Incarceration Sub-committee presented its findings in October, Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said. And because no funds were borrowed for the jail this year, there will be no debt impact in 2018 -- any financial decisions made now will likely not be seen until 2019, Groden said. Legislator and Jail Task Force Chairman, Bill Lawrence (R-Cairo) said he is disappointed that funds were not allocated for the facility in 2018. Lawrence plans to bring up jail financing at the Public Safety Committee meeting, on Nov. 6. He hopes the legislature will vote on jail borrowing by the end of the year so low-interest rates can get locked in and the county can move to send out construction bids. Lawrence said there's little time to lose because of pressure from the state to resolve the issues with the existing facility. Lawrence said he does not like the idea of a shared jail with Columbia County, also has concerns that the ATI Sub-committee reduced the jail bed count from130 to 80. ATI committee member Angelo Scaturro, the Greene County public defender, said he is unfamiliar with the details of the proposed budget, but believes the legislature should carefully review options around the jail proposal. A public hearing on the proposed 2018 county budget will be held 7 p.m. Nov. 6, in the Catskill High School Auditorium, 341 W. Main Street, Catskill. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.