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The Schoharie View- For Some, Irene's Pain Remains

Written By Michael on 7/17/15 | 7/17/15

The end of next month will mark the four year anniversary of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee's two-punch knock-out of Schoharie County, where our livestock, homes, and businesses were decimated by strong winds and rising waters.

We have all come a long way forward since then in our recovery efforts, but there are still symbols of all the pain and disaster that occurred - one of them being the county's Public Safety Facility, where our law enforcement officers and district attorney's staff operate from.

I recently had the pleasure of spending several hours on patrol with a deputy sheriff, where I learned the painful effects of Irene are still very much so being felt today, despite the progress that has been made.

Corrections Officers, who transport county prisoners to and from Albany County for court appearances and processing, are still operating out of a FEMA trailer that was never intended for that use. It lacks the basic uses of any modern office, such as a suitable kitchen area or functioning bathroom.

There are roughly a dozen Road Patrol Officers and Sergeants, but only three desks in the entire department for them to operate from, and even then, they are operating with other department personnel nearby and with little to no barriers to conduct private interviews or view confidential information.

Worst yet, is the degradation in morale that our law enforcement personnel face every day when arriving at what use to be their functional Public Safety Facility and jail, which has been reduced to the hollowed out fragments of concrete and loose wiring.

However, hope if anything, springs eternal and was fueled by the April announcement that a new Public Safety Facility will be constructed at the Seebold Farms site, just a short drive down the road from the existing facility.

Or so they hope.

With the community pushing back and the Board of Supervisors wavering over the Seebold site, all they can do is report for duty, keep their heads down, and hope that the project will move forward - and that they will finally have a home once again to operate from.

- Timothy Knight,
Editor and Publisher,
The Schoharie News.
Tuesday, July 7th, 2015.
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2 comments:

Kittie said...

The Seebold site is a poor choice. One of the reasons that site is being pushed to keep the water and sewer rates low in the village of Schoharie at the expense of the rest of the counties taxpayers. The politicians know they will pay in November if they don't make gestures to appease the populace so they are going to keep coming up reasons why it must be built there. The fact is we don't need this jail! There are plenty of empty beds in other county jails. We should be negotiating a contract with other counties to house our prisoners, consolidate services and save money for the citizens of this county. We have saved money since we have not had a jail.

And Timothy, it would be really nice if one media source in this county could just report the news and factual information instead of taking sides.

SJ said...

Ditto

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