CATSKILL — Greene County lawmakers Monday unanimously authorized the jobs required for construction of a new jail to be opened for bidding.
Bids will be due on Feb. 20, lawmakers said.
The new county jail, which will be built near the Greene Correctional Facility in Coxsackie, requires the county to borrow $39 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Legislature approved the bond on Sept. 19. The former jail, located on West Bridge Street in Catskill, was closed April 20 after it was deemed on safe. The state Commission of Corrections approved the county’s plans for the jail, which includes 64 male beds and 16 female beds, on Nov. 20, but also strongly recommended the county increase the size of the jail.
“We wanted to get the bids out as early in the new year as possible so we will be one of the first projects available to major contractors,” Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said. “As soon as the snow melts, the work can commence.”
Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley is excited about the start of bidding process, he said Tuesday.
“It’s unfortunate it took us this long,” he said. “We should be in there by now.”
Seeley has concerns about the bed count.
“The last thing I want is to have to board out or have to spend more money to put an extra pod on,” Seeley said. “Let’s do it right once and get it over with. It should be designed to last 100 years.”
The sheriff is pleased with the overall progress, he said.
“I’m just happy it’s in the works and it’s being built in Greene County,” Seeley said. “We have to take care of our own.”
No county funds will be spent during the bidding process, Groden said.
The work required for the construction of the jail is broken down into seven packages, according to the resolution: off-site utility; facility site; off-site utility and site; general construction; food service; plumbing and fire protection; heating ventilating and air conditioning; and electrical and security.
The project is divided into sections, according to Wick’s Law, Groden said.
“Wick’s Law provides that when the total cost of contract work for the erection, construction, reconstruction or alteration of a public building exceeds $500,000 or more, independent prime contractors must be used for the 1) plumbing and gas fitting work; 2) steam, hot water heating, ventilation and air conditioning work; and 3) electrical wiring and illuminating fixtures work,” according to nyconstructionlaw.com
Wick’s Law allows contractors the opportunity to independently bid for sections of the project and also for the project to receive more specialized expertise.
SMRT Architects & Engineers of Latham is the architect for the project. The county has designated Delaware Engineering of Albany as project engineer, and The Pike Company of Rochester as construction manager.
Demolition of the old jail and sheriff’s office is expected to take place in the summer, Groden said Tuesday. The carriage house will remain on the property.
“There will be no action until March or April,” Groden said. “The first step will be the Legislature approving a bid spec so that we can hire a company for the demo.”
While the new jail is under construction, the county is leasing a temporary processing facility at 370 Mansion St. in Coxsackie for three years.
Rent for the building will be $3,800 per month for the first year, $4,200 per month the second year and $4,300 per month the third, Legislator William Lawrence, R-Cairo, has said.
Security improvements are estimated to cost $50,000, with total upgrades in the six-figure range, Groden has said.
Construction at 370 Mansion St. is expected to wrap up on Jan. 18.
“Commission of Corrections has to come inspect it,” Groden said, adding that no date for an inspection has been set.
In order to move the sheriff’s office while satisfying a law that keeps the sheriff’s office within the county seat, a civil office is under construction in the records room of the Greene County Office Building at 411 Main St. in Catskill. The civil office will process paperwork for evictions, foreclosures, subpoenas and levies.
Construction of the civil office began on Dec. 24 and is expected to be completed by mid-January, Groden said.
The sheriff’s office has satellites in Prattsville, Ashland, New Baltimore and Greenville, and will soon have one in Coxsackie with its civil office staying in Catskill.
“I’m a firm believer in satellites,” Seeley has said. “If I could have a deputy in every town, I would.”