COXSACKIE — Administrative personnel in the Greene County Sheriff’s Office are transitioning to the new county jail after a temporary certificate of occupancy was issued Friday.
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 county anticipates accepting inmates at the new facility starting in July.
“I am pleased to say that the jail and sheriff’s office construction is on time and under budget,” Sheriff Peter Kusminsky said Monday. “Furniture has started to be delivered, security features are being completed and we plan on moving in next month. We are still on target for housing inmates in July.”
The temporary certificate of occupancy applies to the administrative section of the new jail, while the inmate pods will be inspected by the state Commission of Correction toward the end of April, Greene County Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger, R-New Baltimore, said Monday.
“We’re hoping to be able to allow them to come in the last week of April,” Linger said. “Then they have 60 days to issue their CO to where we can populate it.”
Part of the commission’s evaluation will include making sure the facility is properly staffed, Linger said.
“We’re still hiring,” Linger said. “We had two civil service exams and another one scheduled.”
The COVID-19 pandemic set the hiring process back because the state paused its civil service exams, Linger said.
The county eliminated the residency requirement for uniformed officers with the sheriff’s office — both correctional officers and deputies — in 2019, which gives the county access to a greater pool of applicants.
The county is also hoping to get authorization from the commission to use the intake area at the new facility to process inmates, which will allow the sheriff’s office to completely move out of its temporary location on Mansion Street, Linger said.
The jail project is about $500,000 under budget, Linger said.
“It’s pretty incredible they didn’t have one lost workday to COVID for anybody,” he said.
There have been some delays with material shipments, including windows needed for the inmate pods.
“We expect the windows to come in mid-April and it will take about a week to have them installed,” Linger said, adding that fire safety and other testing can be performed once the windows are in place.
The county had 38 inmates in custody last week, Linger said, which puts the new facility near capacity.
Due to the pandemic, state correctional facilities have not been accepting inmates from county jails, making the jail population higher.
The jail will contain 16 cells for female inmates and 48 for men. Some of the cells are reserved for inmates with distinct classifications and are not available to the general population.
The state Commission of Correction also requires 10% of the cells to remain open.
Until the new facility opens, the county’s inmates are being boarded at the Albany, Ulster and Columbia county jails for $70 to $75 per day per inmate.