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Genesee County Jail

Genesee County Jail number out of service

By Joanne Beck

Press Release:

The main number to the Genesee County Jail  -- 585-343-0838 -- is temporarily out of service. Please dial 585-343-0839.

County officials get construction update at new jail after final steel beam ceremonial signing

By Howard B. Owens
jail beam signing bill sharon
Sheriff Bill Sheron signs what will be the final steel beam put in place at the new Genesee County Jail on West Main Street Road, Batavia.
Photo by Howard Owens.

After a tour of the new Genesee County Jail, under construction off of West Main Street Road in Batavia, County Legislature Chairwoman Shelley Stein said she likes what she sees so far in the new jail.

"It's incredible how all of the trades have worked so well together,' Stein said. "Pike, our construction management group, said we were going to be really happy with them. We are really happy with them. They have kept this project tight on budget. We have hardly tapped our contingency fund, not even one percent yet. So we're just amazed at the progress that we see."

The $70 million, 184-bed facility will be able to house both male and female inmates, provide space for mental health services, space for arraignments, along with the usual accommodations of a jail -- a place for inmates to exercise, take in recreational activities, eat, and meet with visitors.

The modern facility will also mean increased safety for county staff working at the jail.

Everything Stein saw on Monday, she said, aligns with her expectations, which developed with elected leaders visited other new jails in other counties to see what they had done.

"Visiting the jails that we visited, this lines up with exactly what we said that we wanted from what we saw," Stein said. "We have to make sure that our staff that interacts with our inmates remain healthy, well cared for and respected along with those inmates that we are tasked with housing at the same time. So this is all about human respect and dignity."

Stein spoke with The Batavian after a brief signing ceremony -- Stein, Sheriff Bill Sheron, Jail Superintendent Bill Zipfel, along with other county officials and construction company heads, signed a steel beam that will be the final steel beam installed in the new jail.

"I know that it is being built right," Stein said. "It's being built one time, and it'll be here for a long time. Public safety is something that we all prize, and this will be a key cornerstone of the community's public safety for a long time. I hope for a good century"

jail beam signing zipfel
Jail Superintendent Bill Zipfel signs what will be the final steel beam put in place at the new Genesee County Jail on West Main Street Road, Batavia.
Photo by Howard Owens.
jail beam signing
County Officials and contractors with the signed steal beam.
Photo by Howard Owens.
jail beam signing
Outside the front entrance of the new jail.
Photo by Howard Owens.
jail beam signing
Assistant County Engineer Laura Wadhams in one of the cell blocks, leading a tour of the new jail.
Photo by Howard Owens.
jail beam signing
Inside the entrance of the new jail.
Photo by Howard Owens.
jail beam signing
Processing area inside the new jail.
Photo by Howard Owens.
jail beam signing
One of the cells.
Photo by Howard Owens.
jail beam signing
Inside one of the cell blocks.
Photo by Howard Owens.
jail beam signing
The visitors' area, which can accommodate up to 20 inmates at a time for visits with outside guests.
Photo by Howard Owens.

Pilot program being tested for upcoming correction officer civil service exam

By Press Release
new jail construction
File photo from January of new Genesee County Jail construction.
Photo by Howard Owens

Press Release:

Genesee County is participating in a new pilot program for the upcoming correction officer civil service exam. A new pilot program is being tested by New York State’s civil service is an online examination questionnaire that asks questions about an applicant’s education, training, and work experience instead of the usual multiple-choice written exam. 

The new exam will be used to establish a list of candidates to fill future Correction Officer vacancies once the current eligibility list is either exhausted or expired in one year (2024). Submit an examination application to Human Resources on or before 5 p.m., May 12. Approved applicants will be sent a notice containing directions to a website address to complete the Training and Experience Questionnaire. The questionnaire must be completed between June 1 and June 30. The answers from the questionnaire will be used to rate and score your test against the general requirements of the position, which will be based on training and experience gained before the filing deadline of May 12.

Minimum qualifications of Correction Officers include graduation from high school or possession of an equivalency diploma. Applicants may file for this exam if they expect to complete the educational requirement by June 30. Proof of educational requirements must be submitted no later than two months after completion. Candidate must be at least 18 years of age at the time of appointment, not the time of application to take the exam.

“Currently, there are four full-time Correction Officer vacancies that we are looking to fill and six additional positions being added (three effective July 1, and three effective October 1),” stated Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr. “Now is the time to begin a rewarding career in law enforcement. In order to be considered for the positions, applicants must take the civil service exam. Even if you took the previous civil service exam, you will want to apply to take the new exam.”

GC Sheriff's Office Jail graduates four from basic corrections academy

By Press Release
GCSO graduate
From left to right:  Correction Officers Zachary J. Tacy, Wyatt J. Sando, Christopher A. Bauer-Smith, Katherine M. Stearns and Jail Superintendent William A. Zipfel

Press Release:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. announces the graduation of Correction Officers Zachary J. Tacy, Wyatt J. Sando, Christopher A. Bauer-Smith, and Katherine M. Stearns. At the top of the class were C.O. Tacy for academics and C.O. Sando for Top Gun. 

These Correction Officers recently graduated on April 27, 2023, from the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Officer/Peace Officer Academy. The 247-hour course included training in effective communications, essential services, use of force, NYS Penal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, Inmate Transportation, Firearms, Pepper Spray, Taser and Defensive Tactics, and other topics pertaining to corrections. 

“Congratulations to Correction Officers Tacy, Sando, Bauer-Smith and Stearns. We look forward to your future in Corrections at the Genesee County Jail,” stated Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr.

Submitted photo.

Corrections Officer Ridder retires after 22 years of service

By Press Release


Press release:

Correction Officer Anthony J. Ridder retired after 22 years of service to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office effective March 5. 

He worked his last shift, A-line, on Sunday, Feb.y 26.

A veteran of the United States Army, C.O. Ridder started his career on March 3, 2001, at the Genesee County Jail.  During his tenure, he earned a Meritorious Award and was known for his dedication, loyalty and professionalism.   

“Everyone here at the Sheriff’s Office wishes Tony the very best in his future,” stated Sheriff Sheron.

Submitted photos.



Slow travels make for steady progress with new county jail

By Joanne Beck


The first of about 100 oversized construction material loads slowly made its way down Main Street Wednesday en route to the new Genesee County jail being built at 3839 West Main Street Road, and city motorists are asked to take note and give future loads a wide berth.

The special delivery package was a concrete cell that traveled down Route 63 to Route 5, and is to be followed by about 99 more in a series of staggered deliveries during the next two months, county officials say. Motorists are asked to “keep an eye out” for escort vehicles since the deliveries are oversized loads requiring adequate space for travel and turns to reach their destination.

“They should not be crowded for the safety of all travelers,” Public Communications Specialist Steven Falitico said Wednesday.

The new jail — a 184-bed, $70 million facility — has been in progress since the groundbreaking in May of last year on property adjacent to County Building #2 and Genesee County Animal Shelter. Deliveries of pre-fabricated jail cells are “one big step in the construction process,” County Manager Matt Landers said.

“There is still a long way to go, but overall, I am happy that the construction is progressing on schedule and coming in under budget,” he said.

The first major change order — an expense not to exceed $80,000 for stainless steel flashing glued around the perimeter of precast pods as extra insulation — also came up for a vote of approval Wednesday by the county Legislature. The Ways and Means Committee had previously reviewed the request and passed it on to the whole Legislature for final vote.

The project has been on track for a March 2024 completion, led by The Pike Company’s project management.






Top Photo: A jail cell on a flatbed truck slowly travels along Route 5 on its way to the new county jail being built on West Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia; photos of construction progress of the jail on property next to County Building #2 and the animal shelter. Photos by Howard Owens.

Additional insulation needed for new GC jail adds $80K to price tag

By Joanne Beck


As it can go with large construction projects, the new county jail’s price tag is to ring in the new year with ka-ching and an estimated $80,000 of additional work needed for exterior insulation.

Genesee County Highway Superintendent and senior Engineer Tim Hens outlined the problem during Wednesday’s Ways and Means meeting. A six-inch gap at the top of a foundational area was discovered by architects and engineers that, as it stands, would not meet code, he said.

“It’s a very difficult construction detail,” he said. “Cold air would not be coming in, but the concrete would conduct the cold. Two to three feet of that floor would feel really frozen.”

The suggested remedy is to glue stainless steel flashing all the way around four precast pods.

“That does solve the problem. If they can do it before the precast units are installed, it’s easier,” Hens said. “The quicker we can get the go-ahead, the cheaper it will be for us.”

Assistant Engineer Laura Wadhams added that there will be people “out in the field” to ensure that the work is done in as timely and financially efficient way possible and that it may be less than the $80,000 capped estimate.

With the backing of her committee, Genesee County Legislature Chairwoman Rochelle Stein authorized a time and material change order with a cost not to exceed $80,000.00 for LeChase Construction, for costs related to additional insulation installation and protective flashing around the base of all pod areas for the new Genesee County Jail.

The total amount of the final change order will be determined in the field, with documented time and receipts for materials. The cost of the change order is not to exceed $80,000, per the resolution.

To follow progress on the jail project, go to the county's Jail Updates page. 

2022 File Photo of the early stages of the $70 million Genesee County Jail project on Route 5 in the Town of Batavia, by Howard Owens.

Sheriff asks to expand the pool of candidates with nearby counties

By Joanne Beck


Corrections officers are badly needed for Genesee County Jail, and it’s time to expand the search, Sheriff William Sheron says.

Now that a new jail is under construction, there are to be male and female inmates, which creates a need for more, and more diverse, officers, Sheron said during Wednesday’s Ways & Means meeting.

“We’re looking for candidates for corrections officers, especially females,” he said.

He asked legislators for approval of an amendment to allow officers to be from contiguous counties as well as from the desired first choice of Genesee. Less than 40 people took the last Civil Service test, compared to 80 previously. The pool of candidates is growing "leaner and leaner," he said.

Sheron hopes that by enlarging the pool to include other counties, there will be more candidates to choose from.

Several years after initial planning, saving and getting documentation in place for a new Genesee County Jail, the first shovels struck the ground in May for the $70 million, 184-bed facility on West Main Street Road, adjacent to County Building #2. It’s on track for a March 2024 completion.

Once the jail is completed, there are to be male and female inmates, and therefore female officers would be required for the facility. Legislative Chairwoman Shelley Stein remarked that it’s “going to be a beautiful facility” to work in, to which Sheron replied “night and day.”

A public hearing must take place before the proposed amendment — to expand the residency territorial area to employ corrections officers — is officially adopted. The committee agreed to set that for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Genesee County Old Courthouse, 7 Main St., Batavia.

The resolution states that “The County of Genesee Legislature hereby finds that in order to ensure an adequate pool of qualified applicants as Correction Officer, it is necessary and advisable that such Correction Officer may be permitted to reside within the County of Genesee or any county contiguous to the County of Genesee: namely, Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Livingston, or Wyoming Counties.”

As it stands now, state public officers law requires a person to be a resident of the political subdivision or municipal corporation of the state for which such person is chosen or within such person’s official functions. That law can only be revised by an act of the Legislature.

For anyone interested in taking the related test, the next one is on Dec. 10.

For more information, go to Genesee County

File Photo of Sheriff William Sheron being sworn in as first new sheriff in nearly 30 years. Photo by Howard Owens.

County jail update: Injured worker back on the job; plumbers, electricians on site next week

By Mike Pettinella

A worker injured at the construction site of the new Genesee County Jail is back on the job, the senior project manager for the facility management firm said on Monday.

Carl York of The Pike Company of Rochester updated the Genesee County Legislature’s Public Service Committee on the progress of the $70 million, 184-bed jail that's going up next to County Building 2 on West Main Street Road.

He said the worker was stationed inside the excavating shield, directing a co-worker on top who was operating the heavy equipment.

“He was directing the bucket back toward himself and he ran out of room and got caught between,” York said. “The worker was transported to the hospital and today he returned back to work. So, he was out for about a week and a half. But he is back to work.”

That’s good news for the employee, but not so fortunate for the site contractor, Bayside Paving Contractors, Inc. of Shortsville, York added.

“OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) did come out to investigate and they found nothing wrong with the safety or the way they were working,” York said. “They have not finalized their findings yet. But more than likely the contractor will probably get fined because they did not report the accident to OSHA within 24 hours which is required of a hospitalization.

“But that was really the only issue they had with over what happened. They said it was just a flat-out accident.”

Construction is ahead of schedule by about six weeks on the foundation work, York reported, adding that there have been no issues with stormwater pollution and no changes to the total project cost.

York said workers have met one of the first (and many) milestones by completing the building pad prep work three days ahead of the July 26 target date.

“Underground utilities -- our sanitary is about 90 percent complete, stormwater is about 40 percent complete and the water and fire service is about 70 percent complete,” he said.

He said media coverage over the fact that Pike was waiting for National Grid to supply permanent power to the site was a “real good boost … as we did get some good updates from National Grid.”

Foundational work on the administration building and the cell pods is moving along, he added, with expectations that all of that work will be complete by the first week of September.

“Right now, we're waiting for the mechanical – the plumbing and electrical contractors to start on August 15. It was just they couldn't get their deliveries moved up as fast as (general contractor) LeChase (Construction Services of Rochester) was moving along with foundations.”

York said his firm is exploring the addition of a booster pump for future growth, mentioning that a decision will be made on that after speaking with County Manager Matt Landers and his team this week.

Representatives of the state Commission of Correction visited the site last week and “were very pleased” with the progress, he said. Crews are in the third month of a 20-month construction schedule.

Previously: Safety, communication and a little rain for new Genesee County Jail project

Safety, communication and a little rain for new Genesee County Jail project

By Joanne Beck


Sometimes no action can be a good thing, especially when it comes to construction sites.

Project Executive Mark Bollin, of The Pike Company, shared that during his Genesee County Jail progress report to the county’s Public Service Committee this week.

“As it relates to safety, there have been no lost-time accidents at all. And all the contractors continue to abide by the OSHA requirements and their own safety plans, contracts, bonds and insurances,” he said. “All prime contracts have been fully executed, the contract for the special inspections and testing has been finalized and executed. With the stormwater prevention plan, there's been no issues.”

Those housekeeping details have helped to ensure a good flow of communication, he said.

“Communication is going really well, with the county, engineers and contractors.”

Foundation work has included stockpiling and stabilizing topsoil, creating an infiltration test pond, underground utilities and fire and water infrastructure is a little over half complete, at 55 percent, he said.

Senior Project Manager Carl York said that backfills were to begin this week, and all contractors are working on a three-dimensional model of the building to make sure everything fits according to plan.

In addition to the actual physical work, however, there has been that critical element of open communication and cooperation, York said.

“Ever since we started the job, and quite intensely the last month, all the contractors have been working on the final baseline schedule. The general contractor has been meeting with each of the contractors to get their information, and we've had separate meetings where everybody's together and everybody goes through the schedule and agrees on the logic in there. That same schedule has been sent to Pike scheduling department for review and comment and is now finally been finalized,” York said. “This is going extremely well. The meetings are very well attended, it’s very positive. We’re getting a lot done. It’s a very positive process right now.”

Rainy weather — though needed for brown lawns and thirsty crops — caused contractors to lose three and a half days of work. It’s “nothing out of the ordinary,” Bollin said.

Construction trailers are all in place, and remaining contractors are to bring in their trailers over the next couple of months, usually around August, York said. National Grid has yet to provide its design for getting power out to the site, he said.

“It's still in design and up in Albany, so we're still facing that. National Fuel did come out and walk the site. But they have not provided us anything for their design yet for the gas coming over to the proper foundation,” he said.  “All of the contractors and the design team are all working on the 3D model of the building, looking for clash infections and making sure that everything's going to fit. We're about a third of the way through that whole process.”

“If we didn't include that in the original bids, we didn't know what we're going to be encountering. Once we saw what the site was going to be like this was the best thing to do to create a stable work area so that the site's not muddy and progress would not be delayed by rain like this,” he said.

County Legislator Shelley Stein asked him what the greatest challenge has been. With little pause, he said “material availabilities.” Obtaining necessary materials has been difficult, and at times “we can’t even get sample kits,” he said.

“I’m most concerned about the National Grid and getting power to the site. Our switchgear getting here, and then the rooftop, those are our biggest worries. I mean right now that we've got time budgeted in the schedule for this, but if they start slipping, then those are all critical items that will directly impact the schedule.”

The new jail, adjacent to County Building 2 and Genesee County Animal Shelter on Route 5 in Batavia, is still on track for a March 2024 completion, Bollin said.

Photo: Mark Bollin, left, and Carl York discuss the progress of Genesee County Jail during the Public Services meeting this week. Photo by Joanne Beck.

A few glitches aside, new county jail on track for March 2024

By Joanne Beck


A bit too much water and dirt made for muddy waters at the construction site of the new county jail.

At least temporarily.

In his report to the Public Service Committee Monday, Project Executive Mark Bollin reviewed how weather and ground materials worked their way into construction plans.

“Temporary lay down area has been established. Site earthwork cuts and fills is about 95 percent complete. We've done about two inches of stone right now, because if we don't put the two inches of stone down there right now (there can be drainage issues) when it rains," Bollin said at the Old Courthouse. "The contractor is going to be shut down for a day until it dries up … but thankfully this site dries up pretty quickly."

The weather — a recent good steady rain — shut down work for about a day and a half, he said. Underground utilities will be installed beginning this week, and contractor construction trailers are on site ready for utility hookups, he said.

Under the category of “change management,” he listed five cost items that were discovered during this initial phase, including an existing septic tank and leach field from when Genesee Community College was located there. Another item was the removal and replacement of “unsuitable soils,” he said.

County legislators wanted more details about those unsuitable soils.

“A layer of topsoil was discovered under a layer of the fill. The geotechnical engineer was brought to the site to review the existing site conditions and directed that the topsoil be removed from the field, or for allowance to remove or replace 500 cubic yards of unsuitable soil. This material was included in work package number one,” Bollin said. “The soil is not suitable to build the building; it doesn't have the bearing capacity to support the building.

"So I believe what happened here, at some point, somebody put fill over the top of topsoil and then another layer of topsoil somehow got on top of that. So when the contractor … cut the site down to grade, they dug down about eight inches or so and they found another layer of topsoil. We're calculating that to be about 100 yards of material.”

That scenario was built into one of the estimated scopes of work, he said, which is “the reason why we had that allowance to cover such things.”

The project cost is still currently $57,272,000, he said, however, three revisions to the project have been issued and are out for pricing with the contractors.

More fencing has been put up to redirect traffic and separate the project from the adjacent county’s Animal Shelter and Building 2. As far as safety goes, there have been no lost time accidents to date, he said, and safety plans have been submitted and approved by The Pike Company, except for one.

Despite the glitches with rain and topsoil, foundation work is scheduled to begin the week of June 27, which is two weeks early according to Pike’s Guideline Construction Schedule, Bollin said.

A bulk of the project is on track for a January 2024 completion, with a final completion of the new Genesee County Jail set for March 2024, he said.

2022 File Photo of construction for the new county jail on Route 5, Batavia, next to County Building 2 and Genesee County Animal Shelter. Photo by Howard Owens.

Genesee County Jail, take two, is underway: Groundbreaking ceremony set for May 26

By Joanne Beck


Aside from the brick-and-mortar details of constructing a new, 184-bed Genesee County jail facility, Senior Project Superintendent Randy Babbitt offered a reminder Monday about what’s most important.

“My top priority is safety. Safety, safety, safety is paramount with me. I want everyone returning home the same way they show up every day. And we all have families, kids, grandkids. So that's one of the biggest things I stress to the guys: safety first,” Babbitt said during the first update given to the Public Services Committee. “And then I go into quality and a lot of other things, but my main concern for my walk is to be safe every day. So please be assured that's gonna be on the top.”

Most of the contractors have provided their own site-specific safety plan, reviewed and approved by Pike company's corporate safety director, Bollin said. It's also been reviewed and approved by Senior Project Manager Carl York.

“They did submit one to us, and we kicked it back because they didn't address a few things that we want to address,” Bollin said. “They are complying with their safety plan that they have submitted, and everything is off to a good start.”

York outlined work that has been completed and future ongoing collaboration.

“We're collecting everybody's detailed schedules that will go in … we’re gonna start having our project manager meetings every week, starting next week, and our coordination meetings with the contractors coordinating all of the MEPs for all the buildings are also starting next week. And both of those will go on every week until their coordination tasks are completed,” York said. "Randy's on-site superintendent meetings will probably start in about another two, three weeks or so when there's a few more subs working on site. Everybody's very eager to get as much done before the snow flies. We're all very excited to be here. And I'm very eager. You're going to see it's smooth (moving) forward.”

Work has begun at the site of the new larger jail on West Main Street Road next to County Building 2. Equipment at the site will be a mainstay for several months, with a final completion date to be in March 2024, Bollin said. 

He reviewed what’s already been approved — six prior packages with contractors Bayside Paving for site work, LeChase Construction Services as general contractor, Joseph Flihan Company for food services equipment work, Thurston Dudek for plumbing and fire protection, Bell Mechanical Contractor for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, Kaplan-Schmidt for electrical and security electronics work and a seventh contract with CME Associates, which is to provide special inspections and testing.

Bayside paving began “mobilization” earlier this month, with temporary fencing, soil erosion control, clearing and grubbing construction entrances that were completed on May 13. Stripping topsoil began that same day, Bollin said.

The notice to proceed was issued to all contractors on Monday, he said.

“It was dated today. Based on the timeframe that we gave the contractors to complete the project, a substantive date for substantial completion will be Jan. 14, 2024. The date for final completion is March 15, 2024,” he said.

Given this has been a project in the making for at least five years, it was a drum-roll moment as he announced an official groundbreaking ceremony date has been set. Genesee County officials will celebrate the jail’s formal inception at 10 a.m. on May 26.

All private contracts have been fully executed and both Genesee County and the contractors have signed them, he said. The latest agreement with CME Associates is being drafted, he said. All forms, payment bonds and insurance have been provided by all of the contractors and have been “carefully reviewed by Genesee County’s insurance agent and Pike's risk management department,” he said.

He said the contracts are signed for a total project cost of $57,272,800. 

Top photo: 2022 File photo by Howard Owens

Photo: Construction begins on new Genesee County Jail

By Joanne Beck


Several years after initial planning, saving and getting documentation in place for a new Genesee County Jail, the first shovels are in the ground for the $70 million, 184-bed facility on West Main Street Road, adjacent to County Building #2.

Officials have said the project has been said it won't be a financial burden to property owners. The county has been saving money in reserves and holding a greater portion of local sales tax to help cover debt service payments. A four-member corrections officer transition team was put in place to write policies and procedures to cover operations of the new jail that will accommodate expansion needs.

Photo by Howard Owens.

Financial planning enables Genesee County to remove taxpayers from new jail bonding equation

By Mike Pettinella

Genesee County leaders, knowing that they wouldn't be able to avoid building a state-mandated new county jail forever, say the financial plan they have put in place will shield taxpayers form having to bear any of the $70 million cost.

“We’ve been planning for this through our sales tax negotiations that have been going on previously, four or five years ago, with the idea that the growth in sales tax and then sales tax proceeds in general will help fund this operation,” County Manager Matt Landers said following today’s special Committee of the Whole meeting.


County jail project bids come in under budget; legislators approve all six contractors


“For us at the county, we're glad to say that we have the resources to not have to have a property tax increase to pay for this jail, because we'll be able to use a good chunk of our reserves that we've set aside along with sales tax proceeds that have come to us. So, we feel confident that no county property tax increase will be needed for this jail.”

The county has set the wheels in motion to bond the expense over 30 years. When asked about the yearly payment, Landers acknowledged that it’s “pretty daunting.”

“Yeah, it's considerable but, again, we've been planning for this for years and making sure that the growth in sales tax -- and we're being smart with how we spend our money -- and basically set aside and earmark in our mind how much we need to grow in sales tax,” he replied. “We feel confident at this point that sales tax proceeds in the near future are going to be enough to cover debt service payments, along with some potential reserves that we set aside in prior years as well.”

County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein, who called the approval of the bidding and funding resolutions as “a hallmark day for the county,” pointed out that the county’s recent 40-year sales tax agreement with its municipalities set the stage for the jail funding.

“I want to mention the very sometimes unpopular 40-year sales tax agreement and the cap of the $10 million for the villages and towns outside the city. That's what affords this debt service payment on that 30 years schedule,” she said. “And the jail is a county responsibility. It’s one that we can't push off to a different level of government.

“So, taking the steps to assure that this responsibility is well funded and it is carefully planned is part of a lot of the work that Matt's office has done. And the legislators have been very involved in asking the good questions like what was asked here today.”

Stein addressed comments from residents that the county should have built a shared jail with Orleans County to save money.

“We did try to go down that path with our neighboring county. The will was there from the legislators but it wasn’t so much supported through the rest of the rank and file,” she said. “We also would have need 47 different bills (pieces of legislation) at the state level in order to enable it to be a shared facility.”

Landers said there was the issue of the state legislation to allow the county to do a shared jail plus timing entered the equation.

“But the nice that about the jail being built is that it allows for expansion,” he added. “It has been built (designed) with all the right size mechanicals and everything is built so that if Orleans wants to in the future, and the state allows for it, we certainly would be receptive to adding a pod or two and to allow for Orleans County to share this Genesee County Jail.”

Sheriff William Sheron said a facility to replace the county’s original jail, built in 1902, has been a long time coming.

“When I started in 1977, there were plans on the table to build a new jail on land that was purchased (on the site of the former State Police barracks on East Main Street) in recognition that the jail was obsolete,” he said. “For whatever reason, that didn’t come to fruition and in the mid-1980s, we put the addition onto this jail (in the city).”

Sheron said the county has put together “a great team” dedicated to fiscal responsibility.

“We’re not going to build a Taj Mahal; we're going build a facility that's up to standards and … be able to offer more programs for those that are involved, those that are incarcerated, and hopefully make some improvements in their lives and better working conditions for officers.”

Stein thanked key players on the team, specifically Assistant Engineer Laura Wadams, Deputy Highway Superintendent Paul Osborn and Purchasing Director Chet Kaleta, and her colleagues on the legislature.

“Genesee County is not waiting for things to happen. The legislature that is serving this county is getting the job done,” she said. “Thank each and every one of you for your hard work that brought us to this day -- your commitment, your creativity, your patience, and most of all your courage during this time in our society where everything is in flux and changing. All stood fast, tall and committed to this project for this county.”

County jail project bids come in under budget; legislators approve all six contractors

By Mike Pettinella


The project executive for the construction management firm working with Genesee County on its new county jail project this afternoon said everyone should be “very happy” with the bids that were submitted for the six work areas that have been identified.

“Considering the economy and what's happening around the world -- the amount of work that's out there right now -- I think we should all be very happy that we have these results. They are very, very good results to be honest with you,” said Mark Bollin of The Pike Company of Rochester during a Genesee County Legislature Committee of the Whole meeting.

The special session was scheduled specifically for the awarding of construction bids for the $70 million, 184-bed jail initiative.

Bollin (photo above) went into detail about the companies that submitted low bids and answered questions from legislators about the project, that is scheduled to break ground on May 9 on land next to County Building 2 on West Main Street Road. He said work will take place over 20 months, with a projected completion date of January 2024 (plus another two months for close-out and punch list items).

As reported earlier today on The Batavian, the six low bidders are as follows:

General Contractor - LeChase Construction Services, LLC, of Rochester, $34,980,000;

Site Work - Bayside Paving Contractors Inc., Shortsville, at a stipulated sum of $3,792,000;

Food Services Equipment Work - Joseph Flihan Company, Utica, at a stipulated sum of $826,800;

Plumbing and Fire Protection Work - Thurston Dudeck LLC, Ontario, at a stipulated sum of $4,362,000;

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Work - Bell Mechanical Contractor, Inc., East Rochester, at a stipulated sum of $5,112,000;

Electrical and Security Electronics Work - Kaplan-Schmidt, Inc., Rochester, at a stipulated sum of $8,200,000.

The total of the six bids -- $57,272,800 -- is $2.7 million less than what The Pike Company budgeted for the work listed above, Bollin said.

Legislators unanimously voted in favor of accepting the bids, and also voted on amending the project reserve fund to increase the amount to be bonded over a 40-year period to the $70 million figure.

Bollin said his company solicited for bids throughout New York, advertising in different places, including the Builders Exchange to Rochester and Buffalo.

“The Pike Company also has a system where we sent out the advertisement to bid to upwards of 5,000 individuals throughout the state,” he said. “So, we actually had very good participation. There was a number of projects that were out to bid at the time. Contractors are busy right now. But we actually did have very good versus participation.”

He advised that each of the six contractors have a “definitive scope of work” and each are aware of their exact responsibilities.

“There was a schedule included in the bidding documents, along with intermediate milestone dates that each contractor was responsible to meet -- both material deliveries, labor, etc. So, every contractor knew exactly what they were supposed to do,” he added.

Response to the bidding documents sent to prospective companies indicated that “they were probably some of the best construction documents … that they’ve ever seen,” Bollin said. “And that was reinforced by our estimating people who also said that those were a very good set of documents.”

A breakdown of the bids showed that three came in on the site work package, five for the general contractor, one for the food service (which came in higher than anticipated due to the cost of stainless steel and kitchen equipment, Bollin said), five for the plumbing work, six for heating and ventilation and five for electrical.

Bollin said all the contracts are ready to go out, along with notice of award letters that he will hand deliver tomorrow. The selected contractors are required to return the signed contracts along with insurance documents within seven calendar days, “at which time, the county can then sign the documents.”

Bollin said he is confident in the stability and expertise of the companies, noting that he has done work with all of them.

When asked about cost overruns, he said a “field order allowance” of $90,000 is built into each contract, but any charges over the bid amount must be approved by the legislature. He also said that The Pike Company will have personnel on site during construction as a quality control measure.

He said he has received assurances from the low bidders that long-lead materials, such as PVC conduit, electrical gear and air handling units, are being ordered now in an attempt to avoid delays.

“One of the reasons why we don't want to issue the notice proceed until May 9 is to give all the contractors a five week period of time …until we actually start construction to start securing steel and precast concrete,” he said. “I know for a fact that the general contractor is already committed to a steel contractor and he's already starting getting things ready. The precast contractor, I personally talked to him after the bid and he said he's already getting things ready to go.”

'Transition team' prepares for monumental task of leading move to new Genesee County Jail

By Mike Pettinella


Calling the move from the current Genesee County Jail to the one that will be built on West Main Street Road over the next couple years “an enormous task,” Sheriff William Sheron today said he has complete confidence in the “transition team” he has assembled to lead the way.

Sheron emerged from a three-day training of the five correction officers at the Sheriff’s Office on Park Road by stating that it no longer will be business as usual when the new 184-bed, $70 million jail opens about 22 months after groundbreaking this spring.

“The team has an enormous task of transitioning, obviously, from the old jail to the new jail, which will be a revision of all our general orders, a revision of all of our policies and procedures and how everything is done,” Sheron told The Batavian.

“It's not as simple as just going from the old facility and taking the inmates and putting them into the new jail and operating like we used to at the old jail. There will be more programs and many different things to consider, such as meal distribution, inmate movement, medical, inmate and outside visitation, disciplinary, parking and special housing.”

The sheriff has appointed Corey Cieszki, Danni Stone, Austin Davis, Jenna Barber and Dennis Bartholomew (in photo at top from left to right with Sheriff Sheron) as members of the team.

“There was a solicitation to our staff because we wanted people that were interested in doing it – people that have the dedication and desire, I guess, to take on this responsibility,” Sheron said. “And we wanted people that have longevity left with them because when the facility opens up, these are going to be the go-to people for a while. They will know the mechanics of that building inside and out.”

Since Tuesday, the team has been studying under the guidance of Terry Moran, director of operations for the New York State Commission on Correction. Sheron said the training was an eye-opener for him.

“My eyes were completely opened here,” he said. “I had questions before from people saying, ‘Well, what’s this this transition team going to do?’ And I just had a brief overview from the Commission. They said they would come down and explain everything. Now that they’ve explained it, I see that these people (the team) are going to be busy.”

Sheron said he “can’t stress the importance of this team enough to make sure that this project is completed in a timely manner and in an operational manner so that when we open, everybody is fully trained and all procedures are set in place.”

County Manager Matt Landers echoed Sheron’s feelings, also stating that the first day of the training – which included county employees from various departments – brought numerous details to light.

“I think the average lay person would ask how could we have four individuals (the fifth will be an alternate) for the next two years, and they're in a room and all they're doing is policies and procedures,” he said. “If you went through the four-hour training we went through (on Tuesday) you can see the task ahead of them.”

Landers said the knowledge gained by the team members will make them “experts on this jail” and could result in career advancement to administration for one or more of these individuals.

“So, we're making investment in these individuals. And I think it'll pay off and they will be our future leaders in our correction side for years to come,” he said.



Top photo: The transition team goes over design drawings with Terry Moran, director of operations for the NYS Commission on Correction. Bottom photo: Moran addresses selected Genesee County employees during first day of a three-day training this week. Photos by Mike Pettinella. Bottom photo submitted.

Landers: Using County Building 2 as construction staging site for the new jail will save a buck or two

By Mike Pettinella


When you’re mandated by New York State to build a new county jail – one with a projected price tag of $70 million, any cost-saving measures are deeply valued.

That has been Genesee County Manager Matt Landers’ message all along, and he emphasized that point again this afternoon at a meeting of the legislature at the Old County Courthouse.

Landers reported that the state Commission of Correction will permit the county’s jail transition team to be housed in County Building 2 on West Main Street Road while construction of the jail, which will be located just east of that building, is going on.

“We found out (that) to save a little bit of money our transition team for the jail will be allowed to be housed in County Building 2 instead of the county having to secure a construction trailer,” Landers said. “We’re glad that the CDC is fine with that, and the sheriff is supportive of that move. Every buck we can save is good – and that is an efficient place for them to go.”

According to a story on The Batavian last September, the four-member transition team will be comprised of current county corrections’ officers and will be charged with writing policies and procedures for the 184-bed facility.

The team needs to be in place at the time of groundbreaking, which is expected to happen this May, Landers said.

Sheriff William Sheron said he is close to finalizing the appointments, which then will force his office to hire four more corrections’ officers to backfill those positions.

In other developments, Landers advised:

  • That he is preparing his thoughts on how the state should “roll out and spend the broadband money that’s flowing through their books.”

Landers said he has a plan that he feels will work best for Genesee County.

“We’re working with our partners on getting the wording correctly,” he said. “The emphasis on my commentary is going to be making sure that more of that money goes toward the unserved versus the underserved.

“I think that in Genesee County (that’s) the best bang for the buck in reaching that last mile -- members of the community that don’t have any internet access. So, that was the focus of my comments.”

Landers said he has reached out to Town Supervisor Gregory Post for his opinion, noting that town officials are eager to expand broadband in their municipality.

  • That the east entrance to County Building 1 (that houses the clerk’s office and the Department of Motor Vehicles) is open now “so people don’t have to park over by Save-A-Lot and walk all the way around.”

“The sandwich boards are down and Building 1 is back open for business.”

Architect's rendering of the new Genesee County Jail to be built on West Main Street Road. Provided by Genesee County manager's office.

Committees pass measures to extend architect, construction management contracts for new county jail

By Mike Pettinella

The Genesee County Legislature is expected to vote next week on two resolutions proposed by County Manager Matt Landers that would extend contracts with the architectural and construction management companies involved with the new $70 million county jail project.

The legislature’s Ways & Means Committee (today) and Public Service Committee (on Monday) approved extending the construction timeline with The Pike Company of Rochester from 18 to 20 months, based on the current market and supply chain constraints.

Landers said the specific start date hasn’t been set yet, but when it does it will be for 20 months – fitting into the June 1, 2022 through April 30, 2024 time period.

Since time is money, the extension will result in an increase of $121,298, with almost $96,550 of that for Pike to manage the extra two months of the construction time frame, Landers said.

“The remainder is cost escalation for Pike’s rising costs from delaying this project so long,” he added.

The other resolution is for two one-year renewals of the contract with SMRT Architects and Engineers of Latham, stretching out the agreement through February 2024. In this case, there is no additional cost to extend the pact.

The full legislature will convene at 5:30 p.m. next Wednesday.

Landers said that construction bid packages were released on Feb. 8. Bid awards are expected to go out in March with groundbreaking of the 184-bed jail on West Main Street Road scheduled for April.

Visiting at the Genesee County Jail resumes at noon, Tuesday

By Press Release

Press release:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr. is reinstating visitation at the Genesee County Jail beginning noon on Tuesday, 11/23/21, for those incarcerated individuals who are NOT in quarantine.

"We appreciate your understanding while this precautionary measure was in place in order to prevent the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to incarcerated individuals' families and employees."

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