Michigan-based developer donates land for Cortland County public safety complex

CORTLAND, N.Y. — A Michigan-based developer has agreed to donate a 73-acre parcel of land to Cortland County for the sole purpose of developing a new public safety complex, a county official said Thursday.


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The Cortland County Legislature approved the donation in a closed-door session during its regular meeting on Feb. 25, according to Eric Mulvihill, clerk of the legislature. The donation was made public Thursday.

DMK Development, LLC, has agreed to donate a sizable land parcel located along Route 13 South in Cortlandville, adjoining the Tractor Supply store on the east side of the highway.

In August, members of the Cortland County Sheriff's Department and several high-level county officials released a 20-page report highlighting an urgent need for a new public safety complex. In the last five years, the cost of boarding out inmates to other correctional facilities has exceeded $2 million, according to the report.

Later that month, lawmakers agreed to hire SMRT Architects and Engineers at a cost of $150,000 to conduct pre-architectural planning and site assessment for the project. The firm identified six possible sites, three of which were approved by the New York State Commission of Corrections.

The Cortland County Jail can hold up to 93 inmates, according to Cortland County Undersheriff Bud Rigg. The new facility will be designed to hold 150 inmates, with the possibility of expanding to hold 180 inmates.

"When you’re talking about a jail specifically, the most expensive part of the jail is its staffing over time," Rigg said in a phone interview Thursday. "The more efficient you build it, the more money you save long-term." Rigg has said the new jail will be designed to be "manpower and energy efficient."

Mulvihill said county legislators plan to put out requests for proposals in the near future.

"The Cortland County Legislature was extremely pleased with this negotiation which resulted in the donation of the property, saving the county a potential $2 million in land acquisition and basic development costs for a Public Safety facility," Eric Mulvihill, clerk of the Cortland County Legislature, said in a news release Thursday.

The project is estimated to cost $38 million.


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