County has spent about a quarter of budget
The Dutchess County comptroller this month released a financial accounting of the county jail project as of Dec. 31.
According to the report, the county has spent $57.6 million on its proposed Justice & Transition Center — including design plans, land purchases and temporary housing installed in 2015 for prisoner overflow (now being used by the county as homeless and medical emergency shelters) — and $47 million of the $192 million budgeted for construction.
The Legislature downsized the project from 569 to 328 beds last year, partly in anticipation of a bail-reform law that went into effect in January that keeps many low-level offenders from being incarcerated before their court dates. On April 28, the state approved the revised plans, and construction is expected to begin in December and be completed by April 2024.
“As this capital project is the largest ever undertaken by the Dutchess County government, it is rightly a project of great concern to the taxpayers, particularly during these uncertain times,” said Comptroller Robin Lois in a statement. “It is important to keep everyone informed as to the spending, vendor contracts and construction timeline.” A copy of the report can be downloaded at bit.ly/dutchess-jail-2020.