Ideas abound for using old jail

By Patsy Nicosia

Times Journal, September 16, 2020

Nine years ago, Schoharie County’s jail became a casualty of Hurricane Irene.

Now, it could become a catalyst for the future.

SEEC, Village of Schoharie Mayor Larry Caza and Trustee Peter Johnson, planner Nan Stolzenburg and Broome Supervisor Steve Weinhofer, who chairs the county’s Buildings and Purchases Committee, are among those who’ve been brainstorming the best way to reuse the old jail and hopefully, get it back on the tax rolls.

FEMA helped finance the new Public Safety Facility in Howes Cave, out of the flood plain, and now that it’s nearly up and running, the old Main Street jail can be turned into……just about anything.

“There are a lot of ideas out there,” Mayor Caza said, “and it’s time to start pulling them together” to find the best, highest use for a building that has almost everything: good water, sewer, and electric; easy access. multiple buildings, an open floor plan, and good internet.

The best use isn’t storage, said SEEC Executive Director Julie Pacatte; it might be mixed use: housing, businesses, and offices.

“The building is in excellent shape with so much going for it,” Ms. Pacatte said. “How do we turn it into a catalyst for the Village of Schoharie and Schoharie County?”

One of the ideas that ‘s being floated is using part of the property as a trailhead for the multi-use recreation trail that’s being developed along the Schoharie Creek, again as part of Hurricane Irene recovery work.

There are no FEMA restrictions on the property, which means just about anything’s possible, said Mr. Johnson, who’s also a founding member
of SEEC. He hopes to be able to use some of the studies Schoharie’s put together in the past as a guide

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