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Report Recommends New $38 Million Dollar Cortland County Jail

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An advisory committee tasked with reviewing the Cortland County Jail is recommending the county build a new jail and public safety complex. The project comes with an over $38 million dollar price tag.

Cortland County lawmakers will receive a 20-page report today outlining the need for a new jail.

The review finds the current jail is too small and the outdated design is costing the county thousands of dollars per year in out boarding and additional staffing costs.

Overcrowding at the jail has become an expensive problem. In 2014, the county spent more than $456,000 to send inmates to other jails, this year the county has already spent more than $350,000 sending inmates out.

Cortland County Budget and Finance Committee Chair Kevin Whitney, who also serves as the legislative majority leader and was on the advisory group says the study shows that the time has come to address the inefficient and costly jail.

The current jail dates back to the early 90’s. The county recently spent over $100 thousand to add more beds to the facility. The move is considered a short term fix.

Last year, the county requested engineering proposals for the design and construction of a new Public Safety Complex, including a new jail.

The low bid came back for the design and construction oversight came in at over $3 million dollars.

Whitney says discussions of how to pay for the new $38 million dollar jail are ongoing. Whitney says the cost would be offset savings from increased efficiency and possibly accepting inmates from other jails.

The legislature must now decide if it wants to proceed with the first phase of the project at a cost of just under $150 thousand dollars.

Here is the report: Jail Executive Summary

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