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7 new officer positions created for jail

The Allegany County Legislature on Monday created seven new corrections officer positions for the new county jail.

Undersheriff Denis Reynolds emphasized that the positions were being created -- not filled.

"We'll come back to you later for authorization to hire" those officers, he said.

Reynolds told the Legislature the seven full-time positions will meet the state Corrections Commission's requirements for staffing the new facility, now being completed on Route 19 south of Belmont.

On March 23, the county expects to occupy the Public Safety Building, which will house the Sheriff's Department, fire control and dispatch services, the Office of Emergency Services and the jail.

Reynolds told the Legislature on Monday that the department now has about 45 full-time corrections officers and that the state had said seven more are needed.

Legislator Karl Kruger, R-Friendship, asked if officers doing other duties who are also certified as guards could be counted in the number available, thus reducing the number of new hires needed.

"The state knows our Sheriff's Department and knows its staffing," Legislator Brent Reynolds, R-Alfred Station, responded. "If the state says we have to have seven, then we have to have seven."

Legislators Daniel Russo, R-Wellsville; Ronald Truax, R-Clarksville; and Norman Ungermann, R-Cuba, voted against the new jobs.

On a related issue, Public Safety Committee Chairman William G. Dibble, R-Little Genesee, referred to the Personnel Committee a proposal to create a full-time nurse's job at the jail.

The Legislature also:

* Authorized a bond issue of $1 million to cover capital improvements planned by the county. Legislator Michael McCormick, D-Andover, was the sole dissenting vote.

* Approved two bridge construction projects and a culvert replacement. The Public Works Department is targeting bridges on Bottsford Hollow Road in Allen and Wood Road in Grove and a culvert on Pratt Road in Centerville.

* Under the town-county bridge cost-sharing program, the Allen work will cost the town $30,750 and the county $174,250; the work in Centerville, $21,750 for the town and $145,000 for the county; and the Grove bridge, $11,250 for the town, with the county absorbing $63,750.

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