CATSKILL — Greene County lawmakers authorized a contract Monday night to demolish the former county jail on Bridge Street.
The bid was awarded to Jackson Demolition Service, Inc., of Schenectady, in the amount of $344,431. An additional $70,253 was awarded to the company to remove the Ohio sandstone from the exterior of the building.
The resolution passed both Public Safety and Finance committees Monday with overwhelming support. Legislators Larry Gardner, D-Hunter, and Michael Bulich, R-Catskill, did not attend the meeting.
As the resolution made its way through the Finance Committee, Legislator Charles Martinez, R-Coxsackie, who chairs the committee, noted the controversial nature of the vote.
“We’re all going to get voted out,” said Martinez, whose comment was greeted by laughter from several lawmakers.
Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger, R-New Baltimore, commended Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden and Deputy Administrator Warren Hart for their efforts on the project.
“I want to thank Warren and Shaun for all the work they put into this,” Linger said. “This was a lot of work.”
Built in 1908, the county jail and sheriff’s office on Bridge Street in Catskill are listed on both state and national historic registries.
The state Historic Preservation Office recommended that the county examine alternatives to demolishing the jail. The county hired Barton & Loguidice to evaluate alternatives.
To renovate the sheriff’s office and demolish the main jail complex and the D-Block, the cost would be $4.8 million, Hart said in July 2019.
The renovations included bringing the office up to current American Disabilities Act and fire code standards, Hart said.
To renovate all three spaces — sheriff’s office, main jail complex and D-Block — and repurpose them as general office space, would cost $10.7 million, Hart said.
Finally, Barton & Loguidice estimated that to demolish all three buildings and develop a new 5,000-square-foot office building would cost between $1.13 million and $1.2 million, Hart said.
“Rehabilitation of the buildings is not economically feasible given the substantial cost of remediation,” Hart said. “There are no other alternatives that meets the county’s needs.”
Barton & Loguidice has also designed two different parking lot options for the site, with either 23 or 41 parking spots. The estimate for the project is between $1.33 million and $1.9 million.
The historic Carriage House on the property will remain intact.
Demolition estimates came in at about half of the $800,000 the county had set aside for the project, Linger said.
“We got a lot more than we thought we were going to get,” Linger said, referring to the bids. “The more bidders you get, the better pricing you get.”
In all, 12 bids were submitted for the project.
The county is eyeing the property for additional parking and office space, Linger said.
The future office space being considered at the site would likely be occupied by the staff from the courthouse and the public defender’s office, Linger said.
Demolition is expected to be completed by the middle of December, Linger said.
All of the plans submitted used side streets and not Bridge Street, so the impact to traffic would be minimal, Linger said.