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December 5, 2018 - 1:38pm

Committee close to selecting firm to oversee construction of new jail

posted by Howard B. Owens in jail, news, notify.

A committee assigned with selecting an engineering and architectural firm to plan and oversee construction of new Genesee County Jail has narrowed their search to two closely matched firms, Assistant County Manager Matt Landers told members of the Public Service Committee on Tuesday.

The two firms -- out of four that initially applied for the job -- are both so competitive, Landers said, that the committee has sent them more questions and asked for reference checks.

Rather than getting just references suggested by the companies, which will tend to be references from those believed to be positive, the committee is requiring reference contacts for the most recent jails the companies have been involved in building in New York.

"It's a good problem to have," Landers said. "They both scored very well."

Once the reference checks are done, the committee will interview the firms one more time and the committee hopes to have a recommendation to the County Legislature by the end of July.

Besides designing the jail, the firm selected will help with the site selection process and with hiring a construction manager.

The county has been moving toward building a new jail for a few years with cost estimates ranging from $35 million to $52 million.

The current jail doesn't meet current state standards, has damage related to age, lacks modern features, is undersized, and can't house female inmates.

Landers and Sheriff William Sheron cochair the jail committee. Of the eight other members, two are members of the Legislature and the remaining members are key county department heads.

John Roach
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This going to cost a lot. I wish they had one or two "citizens" on the committee.

Ron Greer
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Agreed. There should be a citizen on the committee. There should also be minutes recorded of the meetings and posted on the counties web site. This project will probably be the most costly single item in the counties history and the tax paying public needs to be kept informed.

John Roach
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Ron, you're right. The public didn't even know they had decided to look for a firm to build this. I think we all knew this was coming, but I think we were left in the dark so far.

Rich Richmond
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One substantial problem that will add to the cost is mandates required by the State of New York to be in compliance in many cases to the Standards set by the New York State Department of Corrections. What we got away with in the past will not be allowed. Building the jail large enough accommodate women with an abundance of empty cells can be a money-maker. Women are committing more crime, including violent crime. We can charge other Counties across the State to house their women prisoners

Daniel Norstrand
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Time for a citizens committee to decide which county chambers need surveillance cameras. And maybe even have all legislators and any committee members wear body cams, to be turned on whenever county business is discussed.

Daniel Norstrand
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Duhhhh, djust biwd uh biggew pridthon. LOL, head shaker.

david spaulding
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I'll bet a dollar that when all is said and done the cost will be well over the 52 million mark..
remember that communication tower at the sheriffs office? lol

John Roach
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I agree with David. I am guessing 55-65 million unless they use land the County already owns at County Building #2. And even then $60 million is likely to be closer than what they project.

Frank Bartholomew
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Well, if 4 stainless steel bolts cost $40, and it takes $431 in labor to install them, how much will the entire jail cost?

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