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Showing posts with label jail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jail. Show all posts

Cherry: Jail Construction Likely in 2018

Written By Editor on 3/19/17 | 3/19/17

Schoharie County Treasurer and Flood Recovery Coordinator Bill Cherry gave a report to the Board of Supervisors on March 17th on the progress of various projects.

The County is considering purchasing a parcel adjacent to the Fire Training Center site and considering if they could combine the two parcels into a larger one. This could “provide a more economical and cost-effective option for construction” compared to having the building footprint in just the existing site, his report said. It may alleviate the concerns the NYS Commission of Corrections’ concerns about the site.

Phase I archaeological testing is complete at the Fire Training Center and no further testing will be required. Phase one testing is underway at the site next door, as well as at Shady Tree Lane and Zicha Road.

Phase I environmental testing is complete at the Fire Training Center, the adjoining site, and Shady Tree Lane. It is underway at Zicha Road. Phase II testing will not be needed at the additional site next to the Fire Training Center, but will be needed at the Center site itself and Shady Tree Lane. Surveys are underway at the Training Center and next door to see if they include wetlands. The surveys at the other two sites are complete.

Dente Engineering plans to conduct Geotechnical Soil Bornings at the Fire Training Center and next door March 20-24. The other sites’ borings will be planned after the FTC one is complete.

Cherry is working with LaBella, Lamont, and McDonald Engineering regarding water and wastewater needs. The questions presented included whether the scheduled filtration system improvements and capacity at the Central Bridge Water System will meet minimum thresholds for the facility and in the time needed. LaBella Engineers will have to make such a determination within 30 days.

If the Central Bridge Site is a viable water source, there will be a positive impact on price, Cherry said. If it is not viable, the Zicha Road parcel would need a new utility corridor from the Village of Schoharie 4.1 miles away.

Supervisor Chris Tague of Schoharie said that he’s heard concern that the jail site hasn’t been finished yet. He said it was some of the criticism was unfair because funding for construction wasn’t approved by FEMA until 2015. He said that Cherry had been doing his job and that the Board was “doing the best we can.”

Cherry complimented the Board for being “100% supportive of the recovery efforts.” He added,“It’s easy to look back and say, geez, it’s been six years.” He said that FEMA’s jail funding was a “grand slam, home run” and a unique circumstance. “I’m confident that the Board will have a real, honest to goodness choice” on the sites and out to bid by the end of the year. Cherry said there were verbal prices on two, but not on Zicha Road.

Supervisor Leo McAllister of Cobleskill asked about a timeline. Cherry hoped that there was a presentation on the sites in May so that the Board would be able to make an informed choice. “Once the Board selects a site,” many other elements could happen and hoped to break ground in early 2018.

In other flood recovery news, work is planned for this month at the Blenheim Bridge site, including the construction of coffer dams and demolition of existing abutments. He said that by the end of 2017 the new bridge would be built on site then lifted on the new abutments. Cherry’s report did add that completion will “depend largely” upon streambed conditions and weather. Landscaping and sidewalks should be completed by next summer, his report concluded.

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Board Withdraws from Seebold Jail Location

Written By Editor on 9/16/16 | 9/16/16

By Tyler James

Treasurer and flood recovery coordinator Bill Cherry gave an update on the jail and public safety facility project. He read a memo received from LaBella Associates on September 12th, the engineers wrote about new geotechnical surveys regarding the jail site. The reports show that there were several factors that may have been solvable on their own but together made the Seebold location untenable. This included archaeological sites expected to turn up historical artifacts. Cherry said that the project would need to be within about ten miles of the county courthouse and have municipal water and sewer. Cherry provided a written report to the board members, including a number of recommended jail sites that met the above checks.

Supervisor Tague asked if Sheriff Desmond was consulted on the site. Cherry replied that Undersheriff Ron Stevens was often a part of the flood recovery committee and that the Sheriff was in constant contact.

Sheriff Desmond stood and reported on concerns over the project. He stated that he was there during much of the sampling projects. The Sheriff said that he opposed placing it in Cobleskill because there are three departments in Cobleskill already. He said that instead the jail and public safety facilty should be placed closer to Middleburgh in order to assist residents in the southern part of the county that have a smaller police presence currently. He added that such a location could help bring a police presence to Conesville and Blenheim.

"How important is it that the facility be as close to the courthouse as possible?" asked Supervisor Tague of Schoharie. The Sheriff replied, "Very important." He added, "I don't think a location five or six miles down the road" would hurt the ability to bring individuals to the courthouse.

Supervisor Tague said that he hoped Treasurer Cherry would work with the Sheriff, Undersheriff, and District Attorney. "These are the people that are doing the job every day."

Supervisor Leo McAllister of Cobleskill noted the timeline of the project. "There's a limit on funds," he stated, also citing the project's 42 month timeline. "The fact is that we can't wait a year and a half to make a decision," he stated. The Treasurer agreed, seeking a location with water and sewer. "Extending water and sewer lines is an important piece." He said that the project could be done under budget should a location be found with these.

Supervisor Tague replied by asking the Treasurer whether the decision should be made today. The Treasurer responded yes. Tague then made a motion to exit the Seebold project. Supervisor Skowfoe of Fulton seconded. The County will lose a $5,000 deposit on the property.

Supervisor Pete Coppolo of Middleburgh asked why the project was looked at with a parcel without water or sewer. Treasurer Cherry said that this was not the circumstance at the time, only that there was a possibility that it could be extended over time.

The measure passed unanimously.

County Moves Forward in bid to Relocate Jail

Written By Cicero on 4/20/15 | 4/20/15

After years of regulatory back and forth with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Schoharie County is finally making headway in its proposed relocation of the Public Safety Facility from its current location within the floodplain to higher ground.  

Informing Supervisors that a recent meeting was held between FEMA officials, New York State Homeland Security, and himself, Flood Recovery Coordinator Bill Cherry indicated that the federal agency may be open to moving the facility after all. 

FEMA, which has rejected one appeal submitted by the county, and has yet to respond to another, has maintained that the facility should be rebuilt where it stands despite the devastating effects that Irene and Lee wrought upon the building in August, 2011.

Local, state, and federal officials have vehemently disagreed with the agency's position.

Just two weeks ago a press conference was held by Congressman Gibson Gibson, State Senator Jim Seward, Assemblyman Pete Lopez, and others in the empty remnants of the Schoharie County Jail to request FEMA listen to the demands of the county. 

Mr. Cherry commented at Friday's county board meeting that, "By their own federal regulations and operating standards, FEMA must comply with local codes, laws, and floodplain regulations, and New York State has declared that repairing that critical facility in its present location would be a violation of DEC floodplain regulations."

However, Cherry did report that upon hearing the county's continued perusal of a federally approved 428 Alternative Project that would allow the county to relocate the facility on their own within a agreed-upon capped amount of funds, FEMA officials were agreeable to the idea.

Further meetings between county specialists, construction experts, and FEMA's cost estimators are slated to take place over the next week.

Gillibrand Joins Growing Chorus in Support of Relocating Schoharie Jail

Written By Editor on 3/5/14 | 3/5/14

United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has become the latest member of Schoharie County's state and federal delegation to support the county's ongoing appeal to FEMA representatives in an attempt to relocate the Public Safety Facility and jail outside of the floodplain. She joins senior Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Gibson's earlier calls. 

In a letter addressed to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in late February, Mrs. Gillibrand expressed her concerns that, "rebuilding the facility in the same location exposes the County to potential future damage due to severe storms and flooding." She would go on to point out that the, "structure has been damaged by floodwaters three times in the last 20 years."

Schoharie County officials appealed FEMA's earlier decision to deny relocation of the county jail after the agency justified their refusal by arguing that, one - state funds would be used during the course of the project in direct conflict with federal regulation, and two - the county could not add mitigation costs to construction figures to overcome FEMA's 50/50 rule. 

In her written appeal to Mr. Fugate, Senator Gillibrand stated that she believed that a, "future flood could have a larger impact on the County's emergency preparedness as the County would have to evacuate all inmates and interrupt their emergency operations." Alluding to the county's proposed alternative, Gillibrand renewed her call that, "FEMA consider the appeal from Schoharie County."

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