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The condition of the county jail -- including its 100-year-old plumbing -- has spurred the state to order the county to build a new one.

State official will hear of opposition to new jail

By Dan Hust
MMONTICELLO — January 5, 2010 — New York State’s top guy when it comes to county jails will be making a stop in Sullivan County this month.
County officials announced that NYS Commission of Correction (COC) Chairman Thomas A. Beilein will be attending a public meeting on January 27 in Monticello.
Beilein is one of three state-appointed commissioners who oversee the county jail system and who have the power to compel Sullivan to replace its century-old jail in Monticello.
But whether or not Beilein and his colleagues are truly forcing the county to build a new and expensive jail has been argued of late, and residents and politicians are expected to press him about the state’s expectations at this meeting.
“I think every resident should make an effort to attend this meeting,” said Legislator Kathy LaBuda in a press release. “We know that Sullivan County cannot afford to build a brand new facility, and our residents need to come out and voice their opinions to Chairman Beilein, and help us convince the Commission of Correction to repeal this unfunded mandate.”
Legislator Leni Binder, who with LaBuda has been leading research into jail options, added, “Although I have met with the Commissioner personally on various trips and understand his position, this meeting will give the public the opportunity to ask questions about the necessity of constructing a new facility, and our obligations to build the facility to their specifications, and a chance to discuss their concerns with him directly.”
In a press release, Legislative Chair Jonathan Rouis said: “As we continue to move forward with this jail process, we felt it was important to have the Commission on Corrections down to Sullivan County for a public meeting where legislators and the public can ask questions and have their opinions heard. Ultimately, we need the Commission to support the most cost-effective solution that addresses the issues of safety and efficiency for our corrections officers.”
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27 inside the Hearing Room (second floor) of the Government Center in Monticello.

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