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Jail discussions resume; location is once again debated

The Sullivan County Legislature discusses the proposed new county jail.

By Fritz Mayer
August 14, 2013

The issue of constructing a new county jail has been dormant since 2010 because of sagging county revenues due to the Great Recession. The issue was brought up again at a meeting in the government center on August 9 after indication that officials in Albany are once again expecting the legislature to start moving on the project.

In the fall of last year, the New York State Comptroller’s Office performed an operational audit and in May released its findings, which suggested that if the legislature were to consider building the new facility sooner rather than later, taxpayers could save $108 million over the 50-year life of the facility.

The audit said a 2.49% tax increase would be required to pay for the construction and operation of the facility.
Legislator Kitty Vetter wondered how the state could want the county to pass such an increase when they have mandated a tax cap of 2%.

The site that the majority of legislators seem to agree should be the location of the new jail is the former Mapes Farm about a mile outside of Monticello.

Legislator Gene Benson, who was not a legislator at the time, asked why the previous legislature dismissed an annex to the Woodbourne Correctional Facility as a possibility for a location for the jail. Undersheriff Eric Chaboty said that the site had been financed with bonds by the Urban Development Corporation and the bonds had not been paid.