Old jail project going out to bid

NORWICH – The Chenango County legislature voted last week to front unappropriated surplus of $3.1 million in order to develop the former jail and sheriff’s office on West Park Place into offices for the Department of Social Services.

What began with a $40,000 feasibility study offered by the New York State Office of Court Administration back in 2005, and resulted in an architectural firm’s estimate of $2.7 million in January 2007, has finally approached the bidding phase.

The project calls for demolishing the century-old cell block to separate the two buildings, installing an elevator, and completing extensive restoration work. Interior renovations were added to the project’s scope in 2006 when the county agreed to partner with DSS instead of the court system.

The New York State Department of Social Services will absorb about 75 to 80 percent of the project’s cost over a 15-year period, Treasurer William Evans said.

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