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Schuyler hires Welliver, Hunt for repairs   ADVERTISEMENT

Schuyler hires Welliver, Hunt for repairs

SCHUYLER COUNTY—The Schuyler County Legislature approved Welliver to repair the shared services building, bypassing the bidding process in a special meeting, Friday, Aug. 23.
The building was made unusable after a fire in March. At the regular August meeting, the legislature heard from County Attorney Geoffrey Rossi who said Schuyler could declare the situation an emergency and bypass the bidding process. Legislative Chairman Dennis Fagan explained the current highway facilities are not fit for continued use.
“If we bid this project out, there’s no way we’ll have facilities in operation for the upcoming winter season,” said Fagan.
Fagan said the county and Watkins Glen highway workers should be back in the shared services building by Dec. 15. He added repairs will continue until March 15 when the rest of the building will be ready for the remaining departments. Hunt Engineers will serve as consultant. Fagan said the insurance company will cover $2,778,402, which he said should cover the work. However, he added the county may have to cover some of the cost replacing vehicles. When asked, Fagan said he didn’t know how much yet.
Fagan also discussed the announced closure of the Monterey Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility by the state next year. Petitions are being circled by members of the legislature as well as an online petition that has more than 430 signatures. Fagan said he is working on a resolution for the legislature calling on the state to keep the facility open.
He explained he spoke with a representative of the state commission of corrections about the decision process. Fagan said he was told Monterey was chosen over another facility in Moriah. He explained there was enough public outcry when the Moriah facility was announced for closure several years ago to make the state change the decision.
Legislator Phil Barnes said they are getting testimonials from past correctional inmates. He added the county is reaching out to rapper 50 Cent, who previously was at Monterey, for his support.
The legislature also extended the 4 percent sales tax through 2015. With permission from the state, counties are able to charge 4 percent instead of just 3 percent. The total sales tax in Schuyler is 8 percent, with half going to the state.