Local Happenings: Dutchess County Moving Forward with JailExpansion

UNLESS YOU READ YOUR LOCAL PAPER DAILY OR MY NEWSLETTER, THE LEGISLATION THAT PASSES IN YOUR COUNTY GOES UNNOTICED.

On Monday, May 12, 2014, the County Legislature will vote to approve the issuance of $6,495,310 serial bonds to pay certain preliminary costs incidental to the reconstruction of and construction of additions to the county jail which includes temporary inmate housing units.

What you should know:

  • Two county reports, prepared in 1990 and 2003, suggested expanding the current facility in the location now being con­sidered for pods.
  • The 2013 RicciGreene report offered specific recommendations for expansion, including the location for temporary inmate housing units (pods) as well as assessing the specific population needs before construction.
  • On March 4, 2014, the County Executive and County Sheriff signed a memorandum of agreement with the state Commission of Corrections, committing to the completion of a new facility.

Recommendations in ALL three studies are being ignored. Dismissing every professional study per­formed in the past 24 years would be a mis­take.

We should put these units in the location rec­ommended in the 2013 RicciGreene report. Reducing — even eliminating — other available and reasonable options, will translate directly to spending millions of dollars of YOUR money. DON’T FORGET THE ENERGY TAX THAT WAS PASSED TO BALANCE OUR BUDGET! The County will have to find other sources of revenue to pay for this new jail.

The bill being passed will ultimately lead to a construc­tion of a new, expensive structure — starting at more than $200 million before interest and cost overruns.  MONEY FOR CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW FACILITY MEANS HIGHER TAXES AND/OR NEW TAXES!

No sensible public offi­cial should approve the placement of pods that would restrict our op­tions.

Con­tact the County Executive Molinaro (486-2000), Sheriff Butch Anderson (486-3800) and your leg­islator (486-2100) and express your opinion before it’s too late.  Urge the legislature to save YOUR money by first completing a needs assessment (what kind of beds are needed) and renovating the current facility to accommodate the present population.

To learn more about this taxpayer’s nightmare and to read the current bill, please read Kingston’s Daily Freeman paper – http://www.dailyfreeman.com/general-news/20140422/dutchess-county-lawmakers-vote-may-12-on-money-for-jail-pods

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