Rooms to let? Schoharie, SEEC consider motel for old jail

By Patsy Nicosia

Times Journal, August 19, 2020

Schoharie County, SEEC,and the Village of Schoharie are all working to reimagine the jail.

A Courtyard Marriott maybe?

Peter Johnson, who’s secretary for the Schoharie Economic Enterprise Corporation, said Executive Director Julie Pacatte has been working on possible uses for the old county jail, a valuable piece of property in the Village of Schoharie.

Right now, he said, everyone involved is just brainstorming and the process will likely involve a request for proposals.

Mr. Johnson, who’s also a Village of Schoharie trustee, updated his board on SEEC’s work there Tuesday.

“It’s an extremely well-connected piece of property,” Mayor Larry Caza said.

“Would I love to see a Courtyard Marriott? You bet, if SEEC could make it happen.

”When the jail was flooded in Hurricane Irene in 2011—the new public Safety Facility opened in Howes Cave, out of the flood plain, last fall—the village lost a considerable chunk of water and sewer revenues, Mayor Caza said.

“It would be nice to get that back.” Work is moving ahead on the Parrott House, another project SEEC is helping with, Mr. Johnson said, though it’s been slowed by COVID.

“They’re still eager to do this, still eager to do a good job,” he said of new owners Alexandra Von Zehle and Nick Ahmetaj, who closed on the historic property at the start of the year.

Schoharie’s businesses are holding up fairly well, despite having to deal with COVID restrictions, Mr. Johnson said and Schoharie Dental, at the corner of Bridge and Main Streets,
is amazing everyone with its growth.

“Nobody foresaw this,” Mr. Johnson said, calling owner Hazem Elbialy “a guy with a good business plan and a good business sense. People come from everywhere.”

Efforts by Steve Myer, who’s built eight houses in the village in four years—one he’s building now has already been bought, Mr. Johnson said—also drew praise, again nine years after Irene flooded Main Street.

“We are the only village in Schoharie County with building going on,” Mr. Johnson said.

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