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January 24, 2014

 

Jail project pushed back slightly

Renovations that would add 34 beds expected to start within a month

By CATHERINE WILDE
Staff Reporter
cwilde@cortlandstandard.net

Renovations at the Cortland County Jail to make room for more inmates have been delayed as the county awaits bids for masonry work and schedules contractors.
Jail Capt. Budd Rigg said he expects the work to proceed within a month.
Thursday night the Legislature unanimously approved carrying over about $69,000 from last year’s budget to this year’s budget for the work. The work was approved last year and the budget transfer was a technicality.
Much of the work will be done in-house, with county maintenance crews and inmates. But first the bigger job requiring outside labor must be done, such as laying concrete and piping work, Riggs said.
The work should take about a month to complete, he said.
Last year the county approved the renovation plan as a temporary measure to accommodate overcrowded inmates while the county plans to build a new jail. The addition was also needed because a state-approved variance to house an extra 14 inmates was going to be revoked unless the county showed it was working on a plan to address the overcrowding.
The renovations will bring the 60-bed facility to a 94-bed facility, Rigg said, housing 34 inmates in the gym. The renovations will entail tearing up the gym floor and installing showers and toilets.
The in-house workers will paint the walls and tear up the gym floors, Rigg said, while contractors will handle the bathroom piping and laying concrete on the new shower floors.
Rigg said he is awaiting one more bid and then he will submit the work for county approval. Then, he said, construction would move quickly.
On Thursday Rigg said six females were housed in the gym, making a total of 50 inmates housed at the jail. Numbers in the past have been much higher, resulting in costly boarding out costs.
But with the renovations and extra beds, Rigg is hopeful the county can actually make money by housing outside inmates at the county jail for a cost of about $85 per inmate.

 

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