To the editor:

We at the GCTA and the citizens of Greene County want to know how their (the Greene County Legislature’s) decision was made to condemn the buildings and what it was based on. Their statements publicly indicate that they thought the building was too dangerous to be repaired and about to collapse. We have concluded that this appears a complete misreading of the reports and is based on false assumptions.

The Kaaterskill Engineering reports describe only two specific structural defect conditions that appear from their descriptions to be limited in scope and do not appear to make any recommendation for condemning the buildings.

First, a 20 linear foot section at the top 3-4 courses have shifted slightly. That can be seen from the street, but appears to be minor shifting. There is no measurement of or observation in their reports of walls being out of column, bulging, or any other cracking, foundation failure, or observed plasticity.

The second condition is report of evidence of structural failure where the floor meets the wall at the South end of the building. This second condition has no linear quantity or,percentage of the floor wall connection observed to be failing. There is no measurement of the crack length or width, and as far as we know no device installed to measure any further movement of the crack over time. As far as we are aware, there was no shoring recommended, or recommendations for design of potential structural stabilization repairs. There is no mention of measurements of floor load sagging deflection.

We have concluded based on the limited information that we have been allowed to see, that these reports appear to be inadequate to make a conclusion that the buildings must be condemned,

It appears to us that the decision made to condemn the buildings and build a new jail is based on misunderstanding of the engineering reports.

We also hope and trust, that contrary to what we have heard from other concerned citizens in the county, the necessity of abandoning the old sheriff’s office and the old jail because it was of imminent danger of collapsing will NOT be used by the County as the excuse for “busting” the real estate tax cap to help pay for that unnecessary and oversized jail complex in Coxsackie.

This communication is a direct caution to the County Administrartion and County Legislators, a warning, in fact, do not even try that!

More details on our examination of the engineering reports to follow.

Wayne Sheridan


Greene County Taxpayers Association


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Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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