CATSKILL — Pike Company told county leaders and law enforcement personnel Tuesday they identified 28 possible items that could be cut from the new Greene County Jail proposal for a total of around $4 million.
A second workshop meeting was held to find ways to reduce the proposed $51.4 million project cost.
Some areas of major savings include the Sheriff and Road Patrol area ($2,040,000), maintenance garage ($1,426,541), six upper level flex cells ($257,765) and steel framing and screening in the recreation yards ($162,500), according to a list prepared by Pike Company.
The meeting was held in the Greene County Office Building’s Caucus Room with Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden, Deputy County Administrator Warren Hart, Greene County Sheriff’s Office personnel and representatives from the project’s architectural firm, SMRT Architects and Engineers P.C., and Pike Company, the construction manager.
Legislator Linda Overbaugh, R-Catskill, attended the meeting Tuesday afternoon and more legislators were expected to attend at around 4 p.m., Groden said.
A third workshop scheduled for Wednesday was canceled because all questions about the project were answered at Tuesday’s session, Groden said.
A resolution authorizing $51.4 million in serial bonds to cover the cost of building a new jail behind the Greene Correctional Facility off Route 9W in Coxsackie was shelved at the Greene County Legislature’s Finance Committee meeting May 14 in favor of exploring cost savings. The existing jail on Bridge Street closed April 20 for safety reasons.
Some of the items discussed included the removal of several areas including 15 parking spots at a savings of $34,020, a fitness room at $44,400 and a training room at $162,500, according to Pike Company.
Groden will bring all recommendations to the legislators. The savings package can be brought up for a vote in the Public Safety and Finance committees.
All decisions have to be made by August or the Legislature runs the risk of losing the 3.5 percent interest rate it secured when it authorized a $51,418,000 loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Agency in March.
“If we don’t have those decisions made it will be difficult to maintain the USDA March 1 date,” Groden said.
A training room could be utilized for conferences when it’s not being used for training, SMRT Principal Arthur Thompson said.
The room would also be used for police lineups, Jail Superintendent Michael Spitz said during the meeting.
Multiple spaces removed from the design would require a new design plan, Thompson said.
“It’s all or nothing,” Thompson said. “Once you start taking spaces out, what can we do?”
Groden asked the two firms about the estimated $500,000 demolition of the existing jail and about salvaging such materials as metal bars from the cells.
The USDA loan does not cover demolition.
“That’s got to be money I will just have to have in my budget that year whenever we take it down,” Groden said.
Before the existing jail can be demolished, all asbestos has to be removed. Once demolished, a specially designed machine can pick out valuable materials, Pike Company Project Executive Mark Bollin said.
Removing the sheriff’s office from the design would save $2 million, but space for an office has to be provided somewhere, Overbaugh said.
“We’re going to have to come back and do something in the Catskill area,” she said.
The existing Bridge Street office can be renovated, but it would be tricky when the existing jail is demolished because the two buildings are attached, Groden said. No structural evaluations of the sheriff’s office have been done.
“The back wall of the sheriff’s house is the front wall of the jail,” Groden said. “It might be pretty expensive because you have to separate it first before you make any kind of a change.”
When all of the items are totaled up it can result in some cost savings, Overbaugh said after the meeting.
“We’re really just nickel-and-diming it at this point,” she said. “We have to have some things, and other things we can cut back on a little bit.”
Overbaugh is hopeful the bond resolution will be passed.
“I think we’ve reduced the amount we have to bond pretty significantly,” she said.
SMRT and Pike Company practice value engineering — suggesting items that can be discarded or constructed a different way, Thompson said.
To reach reporter Daniel Zuckerman email email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @DZuckerman_CGM.