The possibility of a joint Columbia/Greene jail took a step forward Tuesday, December 5, when representatives from Columbia and Greene Counties met in Hudson to discuss specifics of the project. The Greene County group included Legislators Lawrence, Torgersen and Bulich, County Administrator Groden and County Attorney Kaplan, among others. The discussions raised a number of potential issues, including the need to expand and upgrade the existing facility in Hudson and the need for increased transportation for prisoners between Greene and Columbia. These were balanced by a number of benefits, including sharp cost reductions for Greene, an ongoing revenue stream for Columbia and the possibility of additional funding from Albany to support the shared facility. These and other issues need to be weighed against the alternative of building a new jail facility in Greene County, which would require a bond of approximately $45 million. Both sides agreed to refine their thinking in light of the meeting and reconvene once again before the holidays.
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