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In order to solve overcrowding issues at the Dutchess County Jail the County's Executive is pushing legislatures to purchase land that is up for sale adjacent to the facility. Our Michael Howard has the story on how much this will cost the county as well as some who think he's moving too fast.
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Just two years after it opened in 1987, the Dutchess County Jail experienced overcrowding issues. After numerous expansions the issue still continues today. Forcing officials to house out 165 to 200 inmates each day to other facilities.
"We’ve been in negations with people at Taylor manufacturing for the last several weeks,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.
Taylor manufacturing is located adjacent to the jail. Molinaro says the company came to him looking to sell the property.
Molinaro says he has forwarded resolutions to the Dutchess County Legislature to purchase the more than four and half acres, for $1.4 million.
Although it will put the county in a long term debt Molinaro says, eventually it would save the county money in housing out costs.
“We expect to save millions upon millions of dollars and return that to the taxpayers,” said Molinaro.
Diane Jablonski is part of the Democratic Womens Caucus, and while she agrees that something has to be done to fix the overcrowding issues she says the plan has to be thought through.
“It’s the holidays,” said Jablonski, “they have just been through the budget so there’s been no time for legislatures to really understand what the intent is and ask some of the questions that need to be asked.”
As for the rush Molinaro says it’s the county’s last chance, for a low-priced resolution.
“This is our last opportunity for a reasonable solution that will cut costs, improve the criminal justice system and allow us to return tax dollars to tax payers,” said Molinaro.
Molinaro says the Dutchess County Legislature will consider funding to purchase the land during its regular scheduled board meeting, Monday night.