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Debate Opens Over Jail Site, Potential Issues

Written By Editor on 12/16/16 | 12/16/16

At the County Board of Supervisors meeting today, Flood Recovery Coordinator Bill Cherry gave his monthly report. He told the board that the County received the Certificate of Completion from the NYS Department of State Codes Division for the floodgate project at the County Building. He thanked several of the key figures in the project.

The Zicha project may become more complicated because both owners of the property had passed away. With the assistance of Sheriff Desmond, Cherry contacted the estate holder in Albany to determne what can happen next. Engineering and environmental tests cannot be done until other factors are settled. “We don’t officially know if it’s for sale,” said Cherry. Supervisor Dave Simkins and Schoharie Supervisor Tague both had questions. Mr. Simkins said that it made no sense to proceed without more information or permission to test.

Mr. Cherry added that, “for now we’re waiting to get more approval.” No testing has started at Zicha Road, and thus no money spent there. There is testing at the Fire Training site and preliminary testing regarding utility corridors heading to the site. Cherry said that the Village of Cobleskill felt left out of the process thus far and he will attend their meeting on Tuesday to discuss. Supervisor Leo McAllister said there were several concerns about water that he believes will be allayed by coming to the next meeting. Similar tests were made regarding the Village of Schoharie system and it would be able to meet demand. Further studies will be done for the Central Bridge water system. The County also set up preliminary arrangements for archeological studies.

Supervisor Pete Coppolo said that he would not support using Schoharie’s water system because it was offline during the flood. He brought up concerns about upgrades needed for the Central Bridge system due to potential issues with funding. “The upgrade is planned. The grant has been accepted,” said Tague.

Supervisor Coppolo asked who would maintain the water lines running to the site. Supervisor Tague interjected, saying that such issues would be up to the individual districts. Coppolo said that the question was intended for Cherry. The Flood Coordinator said that more information was needed, especially about the Central Bridge option.

Cherry also presented about the Public Safety Answering Point, or PSAP. The estimate is that the structure will be completed March 15th with another 30 day window to complete final touches. The 120 foot communications tower will be constructed during this period, including the tower base poured in late December or early January, weather permitting.

A presentation discussed the ongoing creek work. Progress continues on the Platter Kill creek project. Work is expected to be completed for the season in the next couple of weeks. Reimbursements from NRCS and ESD will be coming in. Supervisor Simkins called for expediency, stating that he believes that there is “a possibility that we will lose everything we’ve invested in” if not completed soon enough. Remaining creek work is expected for completion in the summer of 2017.

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