A new architect firm for Herkimer County could go to work in designing a state-approved layout for the proposed county jail.
The county Public Safety and Emergency Management and Ways and Means committees on Thursday approved the Goldberg Group’s proposal of $3,500 to pay for the cost of designing a jail.
Legislator Raymond Johnson, R-Ilion, who visited a Georgia facility designed by the group with Legislator Robert Schrader, R-Herkimer, said the firm wouldn’t be paid until a state-approved design was presented to the county.
“I don’t see the problem,” Schrader said. “This guy is offering something for nothing until it’s approved.”
The proposal must go to the full Legislature on Wednesday for final approval.
Goldberg Group has proposed building a 130-bed jail using 42,700 square feet at a cost of $16 million; considerably less than the current architect LaBella Associates’ proposal.
LaBella’s proposal required about 80,000 square feet and is projected to cost the county between $33 million and $34 million.
Johnson said the savings is substantial.
“Enough that I thought to spend my own money to go down and look at (the facility),” he said.
Johnson added that it’s a functional facility.
“It’s a Kia. A Kia and a Cadillac do the same thing,” he said. “I’m looking to save the county money.”
County Administrator James Wallace pointed out during the meeting that Goldberg’s cost per square footage is higher than LaBella’s.
Legislator Kurt Ackerman, R-Little Falls, suggested contacting LaBella to see if the firm could propose a smaller facility to be more in line with Goldberg’s proposal.