Columbia-Greene Media

COXSACKIE — The new Greene County Jail was originally expected to open July 1, but officials are still aiming to bring the facility to full usage in the coming weeks despite delays.

Construction of the jail, located on Route 9W, was delayed by the state for mandated changes to the building as well as construction delays in sourcing materials, Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said.

Greene County Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger, R-New Baltimore, said the New York State Commission of Correction, the agency that oversees county jails and other correctional facilities, walked back changes the commission initially approved.

The Commission of Correction is working with the county to address all issues as the jail nears completion, according to a statement from the commission.

Greene County Sheriff Pete Kusminsky said the target opening date is July 26, pending commission approval.

The project did experience some construction delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes made by the state are common to projects such as this, Groden said.

The delay on opening the facility shouldn’t be more than “a few weeks,” Linger said.

Changes to the plan included additional fencing in the recreation yard and additional top soil to cover the clay ground, as well as stone to stabilize the ground, Groden said.

“We could easily put something in to satisfy their requirements,” Linger said.

Despite the delays, the facility is only waiting on its certificate of occupancy and final approval from the Commission of Correction, Groden noted. Groden said the extended construction period “didn’t crush” the project or its budget.

“I have every confidence we will be in the facility in July,” Groden said.

Even with the changes mandated by the state, Groden said the project is still expected to be completed under budget. The project’s budget was approved at about $47.4 million, but with the changes — which will account for 2% of the budget, Groden said — the completed facility should cost about $46.6 million.

The 64-bed facility is funded by a $39 million bond from Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. at 2.49% interest and an $8.1 million contribution from the county. The jail will contain 12 beds for female inmates and 48 beds for male inmates, while some of the cells are reserved for inmates with distinct classifications and are not available to the general population, according to a February report in The Daily Mail.

The facility was initially approved as an 80-bed jail in November 2018, but due to bail reform passed by the state Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, county lawmakers reduced the population capacity to 64 beds.

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(1) comment

scottmyers

The purpose of a county jail isn't to create jobs or waste money. This monster calculates to a 20% tax increase for 30 years! None of the contractors are from Greene County, none of the $16 million interest stays in Greene County. Even the healthcare was outsourced to Pennsylvania.

The $8 million taken from reserves has to be put back, but according to Central Hudson's OutofAlignment (https://www.hvoutofalignment.com/downloads), Greene County has a declining population and per capita.

When Sheriff Kusminsky saw the jail, he commented that the locker room looks like it was designed for the NFL.

The adjoining county jails are 85 - 90% empty. Ulster's new jail was built for 540 but has under 90 detainees. Our insane misdirection of taxpayer funds includes a $1.2 million garage, a Garage Mahal.

It's significant that there' absolutely no budget for aiding the detainee, most of whom simply need competent mental and social services. For reference, this county has a very high Opioid crisis. Jail is certainly inconsistent with proactive mental health work. Police are NOT proper counselors. No one's adequately addressing the root causes.

Shaun Groden and Greene County Attorney Ed Kaplan repeatedly charge and arrest me for saying these things. The county created an Order of Protection after attending the January 2019 public legislator's meeting. It lists every county legislator and most of its administrators. At the end of the session, I raised my hand and asked: "When is there an opportunity for public comment." I left the room but was followed by several legislators. Here's the video: https://youtu.be/g4m01nT2GUE

On May 10, NY State Patrolman Overbaugh came to my apartment. He came right in and arrested me. Here's the video: video https://youtu.be/a3cTB-vLo4Q

Yesterday the "special prosecutor" provided "ready for trial" papers to the Court. But there was no arraignment, no evidentiary hearing. After the original arrest on January 17, 2019, the DA and Public Defender and every judge and Court recused.

Sadly, Greene County is rated a "worst offender" by the State Commission of Corrections. This rating comes after a record number of suicides and the atrocious mismanagement by Sheriff Greg Seeley and Michael Spitz. http://www.scoc.ny.gov/pdfdocs/Problematic-Jails-Report-2-2018.pdf This paperwork from Greg Seeley allowed Michael Spitz to triple dip. https://drive.google.com/open?id=18wUT9dzxYEw5xBg2rl7U24yaocoRs1MG

Groden and Kaplan’s misuse of “law enforcement” to criminally prosecute my freedom of speech is pathetic. It’s a continuation of the “habit and custom” that causes Greene County to waste $90 million on a jail we never needed.

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