County pulling itself out of debt

NORWICH – Chenango County will be out of debt next spring.

After 15 years of annual payments, the last $225,000 installment for the $3 million cell development project at the Pharsalia Landfill will be made on May 1.

The landfill has been open since 1994 and has three waste cells. Chenango County Department of Public Waste officials estimate another six years before a fourth cell must be built. Though garbage taken in each year varies, the landfill currently has the capacity for seven total cells.

The $27 million Chenango County Public Safety Facility and tower system was bought and paid for in late summer. The loan was paid off in eight, $1 million installments. The new Sheriff’s Office and Jail on Upper Ravine Road in Norwich opened in 2007 paid for, in part, with a special 1 percent sale tax collection.

Today, approximately $5 million taken in from the jail tax annually helps pay for the public safety facility’s operations and workers. Boarding in fees and reimbursement from the Chenango County Area Agency on Aging for food and kitchen operations makes up all but about $1 million of the remaining $7 million total cost to operate the jail.

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