County Jail revenues rise from boarding fees

HUDSON–The Public Safety Committee of the county Board of Supervisors heard from Fire Commissioner John Howe, who praised the coordinated effort of 25 agencies that responded to the spill of 8,000 gallons of fuel oil September 12 from an overturned oil tanker at the Routes 9 and 9H intersection rotary in the Town of Kinderhook.

The accident closed the traffic circle for about 6 hours and a state of emergency was declared in a two-mile radius of the incident.

State Police were assisted by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the county Sheriff’s Office, the county Office of Emergency Management and local fire departments. All roads were reopened by 11 a.m. September 13. There were no injuries.

Also at the September 19 committee meeting Lt. Thom Lanphear of the county Sheriff’s Office presented the out-of-county inmate report as of August 2013, which shows the county received $590,410 for boarding out-of county inmates versus $319,185 for the same period in 2012, an increase of $271,000. He explained that inmate daily rates are $80 for Greene County, $90 for the U.S. Marshals Service, and $85 for other counties. He further noted that Rensselaer County has an advantage, because it can include transportation of inmates, something Columbia County cannot do because of personnel limitations.

Lt. Lanphear requested a $75,000 budget transfer to fund replacement of 10-year-old computers in the 911 Center and the Public Safety Building, noting that the existing computers cannot handle the current workload required by the departments.

He also requested $14,000 to purchase 25 new computers, noting that “only the computer, not the monitor, is being replaced.”

Livingston Supervisor Kevin McDonald told the committee, “Our computer budget should be lower next year” with the purchases being made this year.

Lt. Lanphear also requested funds to replace three Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) in Sheriff’s Office patrol cars, commenting that existing terminals are 5 to 10 years old. He put the cost of the replacement terminals at $21,460.

County 911 Deputy Director Rich Lindmark submitted a request for the county to enter into an agreement with the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services for the use of a Communication Assets Survey and Mapping Tool (CASM), at no cost to the county. The tool gives state public safety officials a means to gather and analyze communications systems data to identify gaps in what’s called interoperability–the extent to which different systems can communicate with each other–and to improve emergency response communications. CASM is a web-based tool that can enter and display public safety communications information.

Also at the meeting county Public Defender Robert Linville reported that his department has made substantial progress in ensuring there are attorneys on call for anyone who is arrested. His request to reorganize the office by eliminating one part-time public defender and creating a full-time position at an annual salary of $75,000 annually was approved by the committee. A request to purchase a new desk was postponed, and a request for funds to re-carpet the offices was approved, for a cost of $5,234.

 

 

 

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