Lewis County paying more to outboard inmates due to construction delays

Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 3:59 PM EDT
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LOWVILLE, New York (WWNY) - A construction project at the Lewis County Jail will cost the county more, not for the project, but to pay for housing the inmates at other jails.

Construction is taking a bit longer than expected for the Lewis County Jail, so inmates that are usually inside the facility have to be housed elsewhere. It’s called outboarding.

A proposed resolution for Tuesday’s county Board of Legislators meeting would move $100,000 from the sheriff’s contingency account to the jail inmate bond account.

“Replace that HVAC is one of those projects, and of course in a secure facility like the jail, it’s always more complicated. You have to remove the inmates, and that adds layers of complication,” said Lewis County Manager Ryan Piche.

The original timeline for the just more than $1 million project was around two months. Piche says the county quickly recognized the challenges of renovating an older building.

“That’s why we, in every budget, we add a little contingency for things that might take a little bit longer, or expenses that come up throughout the year. Every once in a while we have to move that money around and cover those expenses,” he said.

While the project is taking longer than expected, Piche says the county has been able to check off other items from the jail’s list of needed renovations.

“While we had the HVAC under renovation, we’ve also taken the opportunity to repaint all the jail cells, do some other much need maintenance. Replace an old refrigerator that was 30-something years old,” he said.

Piche says the project should be completed within the next two weeks.

We reached out to Sheriff Mike Carpinelli for comment but he declined to speak with us.