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A Look at the Proposed Jail Sites

Written By Editor on 10/22/16 | 10/22/16

A number of proposed sites for a new jail were discussed at Friday's Board of Supervisors meeting. The Buildings and Purchases and Law Enforcement Committees had a joint meeting on October 4th. The Chair of the Buildings and Purchases Committee, Gilboa Supervisor Tony VanGlad identified several sites as among the most advantageous.

The County is currently working with LaBella Associates engineering and planning firm, Lamont Engineering, BBL Construction Management, and the West Law Firm to determine cost estimates for each site. These reports are expected in mid-November.

According to information provided by Flood Recovery Manager Bill Cherry, the following are sites are considered:

Zicha Road: The site has no water or sewer and due to a slope the building would have to be placed close to the intersection of Zicha Road and Route 7. Water lines would need to be extended either from Schoharie four miles away or five to six miles from Cobleskill. Sewer lines may be extended one mile from Central Bridge depending on capacity. It is currently unknown if the site is still for sale.

A&S Garage: The former site currently has no water or sewer. Water lines would likely need to be run from the Village of Middleburgh, approximately three miles away. There could be significant environmental costs to clean up years of automotive debris. The site is currently for sale.

Fire Training Facility: This parcel was created by the dumping of soft fill from quarry byproducts. The site does have wetlands and soft spots and the only buildable site is where the Fire Training Facility stands. The building was constructed several years ago, half funded by state grants, which could cause issues with demolition. Both water and sewer are close but not on the parcel. The parcel is currently owned by the County.

Doc Reilly Park: This site does have water and sewer services at the property line. There are significant legal hurdles to turn a current park into a jail. This could be an insurmountable challenge according to the County's legal team. Furthermore, the parcel is in the 500 year floodplain and it is unknown whether the portion outside of the floodplain was inundated in 2011. The property is currently owned by the Town of Cobleskill, with a deed restriction limiting its use to a municipal park.

The Nark Farm on Shady Tree Lane: Has water, sewer, and natural gas services at the property line. The site is level and the facility would be largely out of the Route 7 viewshed. The corner of Shady Tree Lane and Route 7 would need substantial work to eliminate a steep angle of the intersection. It is estimated that this could be done within budget. The site is currently for sale.

Rubin Road Site: This site lies between Route 7 and I-88 across the road from MOSA. It has water, sewer, and natural gas at the property line. The parcel is rocky and sloping which could limit the size and positioning of the facility and further study is needed to see whether excavation costs would be prohibitive. The jail would likely be visible from I-88 but not Route 7. The site is for sale.

Mineral Springs Road: There are two Industrial Development Agency-owned parcels in the Town of Cobleskill. There is natural gas, water, and sewer access at the property line. These two could be combined to create the facility. This site has the lowest expected excavation and site-preparation costs. The building would be visible from part of the Village of Cobleskill and I-88. It is unknown whether the IDA would sell these parcels.

Forrester Road: This site has water, sewer, and natural gas access at the property line. The facility would sit higher behind the Dunkin' Donuts in Cobleskill. The property owner indicated they would not sell the site if it would be made into a jail.

Camp Summit: There is no water or sewer service near the site and the driving distance to the Schoharie Courthouse would be prohibitive.

According to the letter from the Treasurer, the County must consider several factors. These include the site being outside of the 500 year floodplain and not impacted by Hurricane Irene. It must be a minimum of 15-20 acres, but larger would be better. It should be adjacent to municipal water and sewer. It should be within ten miles of the County Courthouse. There should be minimal social impact, and not within a residential neighborhood. The County is looking to avoid eminent domain issues. The County is also prioritizing access to routes to the Capital District.
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