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November 25, 2014

Committee Looks at Options for Old County Jail Property

OSWEGO - Barring no unforeseen circumstances, the demolition of the old Oswego County Jail on East River Road will be completed by the end of November. Members of the County Legislature are looking at several options for future use of the property.

"We're looking at several issues that could affect the use of the old jail property," said County Legislator Morris Sorbello, District 23, Granby, chairman of the special committee assigned to investigate future use of the land. "There are a number of factors that we'll take into consideration, including the possibility of selling the land for private development, the need for additional storage space for county records, and the location of office and courtroom space for the new Family Court judgeship. We are required by law to provide office space, meeting rooms and courtrooms for the courts, and we'll look at all available options as we move forward."

County Legislature Chairman Kevin Gardner appointed a special committee in April to research options for the old jail property and at the same time look for space for a new records retention center.

The special committee also includes Legislators Linda Lockwood, District 11, Volney; Jacob Mulcahey, District 15, Oswego; John Proud, District 7, Mexico; and Stephen Walpole, District 14, Oswego.

The county contracted with Diversified Construction Services, Inc. of Phoenix, NY to dismantle and remove the former County Jail on Route 481. The property will be professionally appraised after the old jail is removed and the site is returned to its former condition.

Contractor Dan Bianchi of Diversified Construction Services told committee members at a recent meeting that the demolition project is proceeding on schedule.

"Over the past few weeks the main part of the jail has been leveled and debris is being removed from the site. The area will eventually be landscaped with level fill placed on top. The project should be completed around the end of November," said Legislator Sorbello.

Legislator Sorbello has asked committee members to compile information about the county's long-term requirements for records storage, identify vacant offices and commercial real estate, and identify public buildings for sale. The committee will make recommendations to the Legislature when their work is completed.

The county Records Center, which is adjacent to the Oswego DMV Office on East River Road, is filled to maximum capacity.Thousands of digital and paper documents, which county government is required by law to retain, are stored in the facility, along with historic maps, census records, and other materials.

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