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The Times
  • Sheriff seeks to improve efficiency at jail

  • Sheriff Chris Farber presented a pair of proposals designed to improve efficiency at the Herkimer County jail during a meeting of the Herkimer County Legislature’s Committee on Public Safety/Emergency Management Wednesday evening. The first proposal was to change the lighting at the facility to more efficie...
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  • Sheriff Chris Farber presented a pair of proposals designed to improve efficiency at the Herkimer County jail during a meeting of the Herkimer County Legislature’s Committee on Public Safety/Emergency Management Wednesday evening.
    The first proposal was to change the lighting at the facility to more efficient ballast bulbs. The cost would be $3,245.21 and the county would receive $2,221.79 from National Grid. The change is expected to pay back the rest of the cost within a year by lowering utility bills.
    Farber also proposed installing a kiosk in the facility’s lobby to allow family members and friends of inmates to put money into the inmates’ accounts for use in the commissary, where prisoners may purchase such items as potato chips, soup and candy bars. Farber described the unit as a sort of reverse ATM machine that could be used to put money into prisoners’ accounts. Currently, staff members at the jail handle the transactions and keep track of the accounts. This system would save time, he said, and staff members would not have to handle the money. Also, the Montgomery County jail uses this system and prisoners who are boarded out there would be able to use the same accounts.
    Farber also asked for approval to submit the necessary paperwork for a $16,750 Homeland Security grant for the county. The proposal calls for the funding to be used to purchase portable radios for the sheriff’s department and for local police departments in the villages of Dolgeville, Herkimer, Mohawk, Ilion, Frankfort, the city of Little Falls and the towns of Webb and Frankfort.
    All three proposals will go before the full county Legislature for further action.
    Farber also gave a report on the correctional facility costs for the month of August. An average of 24.94 inmates were held at the local facility while an average of 39.99 were boarded out to other county jails. Boarding out prisoners cost the county $112,355 and transportation costs came to $5,377.64. Prisoners were boarded out to four different counties that month: Oneida County at a cost of $63,795; Fulton County at $42,320; Montgomery County, $5,680; and Madison County, $560. Farber said there was a high of 77 inmates and a low of 56 inmates during the month. He noted that the monthly report is not completed until all of the bills are paid.
    Stop-DWI Coordinator Michael Edwards told the committees he would like to change the list of people making up the Stop-DWI committee to call for the county legislature chairman rather than a particular individual as it now stands. The Stop-DWI committee also includes other officials as well as members of the community. He said he would review the makeup of the group and may recommend others who would be appointed due to their position as well.
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