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Greene County spending money to see if building they say is unusable is usable

Jul 18, 2019 12:23 am
Sarah Trafton reports for Columbia-Greene Media that previously Greene County officials said the former county jail was unusable, making the building's condition another argument for building a new $70 million jail in Coxsackie. Now, though, those same officials are spending money with an engineering firm to determine the cost of bringing the building up to code. Greene County legislators voted for a $39-million bond last September based on an 80-bed jail proposal. Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden has been saying this year, as opposition to the jail increased, that it would be a 48-bed facility. Once approved, that changed to a 60-bed facility, the current line from Groden. Last October Greene County Legislator William Lawrence (R-Cairo), chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said, on average, Greene County residents can expect a 6.73 percent tax increase next year because of the construction. The tax increases are similar across the county with Windham residents seeing the lowest increase of 6.48 percent, and Ashland residents receiving the largest increase, of 6.91 percent. “I continue to believe this is going to be the biggest waste of county resources in the history of Greene County or ever in [the] future,” former Windham representative Lori Torgersen said. “Those of us who thought of alternatives are on the right the side of history.” Currently, Greene County is sharing jail services with Albany and Columbia counties, even though many Greene County legislators continue to claim it is illegal to share jail services with neighboring counties. The Greene County Legislature will hold a workshop on July 24 to discuss the future of the former jail, located on Bridge Street in Catskill. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.
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