Cortland Sheriff Mark Helms this morning (February 6) addressed a joint meeting of the County Legislature’s Judiciary and Public Safety and Buildings and Grounds Committees.
The status of the Cortland County Jail, which was evacuated two weeks ago because of a major roof leak, still hangs very much in the balance. SEE THAT STORY HERE.
Sheriff Helms today said the State Department of Corrections has not yet gotten back to him with its final list of required repairs the Jail must undergo in order to reopen to inmates. But first things first: Off with the old roof and on with new.
“The tentative date is set for Monday (February 11) to begin tearing off the old roof and putting on a new one,” Helms said. “I’m expecting the State to get back to me in the coming days, but in the meantime we’re trying to get a jump on the repairs we know we’re going to have to make.”
In addition to the faulty roof, the other major repair the jail will need to make is to its floors, which were damaged in areas including the dormitories.
Altogether, the roof-floor project is expected to cost just under $700,000. The County has formally entered into a do not exceed contract with Pike Contractors. Helms says the State will leave the County with no choice but to make these repairs:
“The bottom line is that the State won’t let anyone back in until we get all of this done. It’s a problem we’ve tried to deal with for awhile now and it’s finally caught up to us,” Helms said.
The state’s report is expected to arrive in the coming days. In the meantime, discussions are now very much active another joint meeting of these committees has been planned for February 20.