County approves funds for jail demolition

ELIZABETHTOWN The fate of the old jail facility was sealed at the most recent meeting of the Essex County Board of Supervisors. The board unanimously approved a resolution April 7 to establish a capital project fund of $500,000 to dispense with the modular jail, while planning the demolition of the old facility. With the opening of the new public safety building in Lewis last year, Essex County moved out of its former jail facility, located in Elizabethtown. Since the original facility, dating back to the 1860s, was shut down in 2002, the county had purchased a modular facility to house prisoners. DPW Superintendent Fred Buck said a bid of $145,455 had been approved to move the modular facility to the DPW. The cost included the set-up of the facility, which will be used as office space. The rest of the $500,000 is being put toward the demolition of the old structure. County Attorney Daniel Manning called it a precursor to the project. The board of supervisors also approved paying a $1,000 settlement with the Adirondack Park Agency, although some members dissented. The fine was levied after an antenna was installed on the Essex County Public Safety Building without a proper permit. Randy Preston (I - Wilmington) said he was against paying the fine, since the APA and county were both government entities. He pointed out that the APA wasnt displaying their E-911 number on their building, a violation of county law. He suggested a $1,000 fine for that infraction would be fair. Other supervisors, like George Canon (R - Newcomb), Ronald Jackson (R - Essex), Joyce Morency (R - St. Armand) and Noel Merrihew (R - Elizabethtown) wanted to pay the fine and settle the issue. Preston, Thomas Scozzafava (R - Moriah), Daniel Connell (D - Westport) and Robie Politi (R - North Elba) voted against paying the fine, but the motion passed.

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