HERKIMER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The long-awaited decision in the court case between Herkimer County and the Village if Herkimer is finally in.
Herkimer County Supreme Court Judge Erin Gall issued a ruling Wednesday allowing the county to build a new jail within the village. The village zoning board had blocked the proposed new facility at the former P&C site.
The ruling says county and state laws pre-empt local zoning and the county should be allowed to use the site. There are still several outstanding issues before shovels get in the ground, mainly water and sewer rights.
The village says they plan to appeal the decision, but the county is worried about the costs of continuing the case.
“It's our position that there are other alternatives and that, therefore, when the court balances the interests between the municipality's right to zone and the county's right to choose a place to have their jail that the local government should have prevailed,” said Michael Longstreet, Attorney for the Village of Herkimer.
“I can't speak for the other legislators, but I'm one, we're long overdue on this. We need to put this to rest and build it, build the jail,” Herkimer County Legislature Chairman Vincent Bono.
If the appeal is denied, the county will then begin a new court-created application process for the water and sewer rights so they can start building.