CORTLAND, N.Y. — The New York State Commission of Correction has approved Cortland County's request for an extension of a variance that allows the county jail to house an additional 30 inmates beyond its authorized capacity.
The commission approved a 6-month extension for the variance at its September meeting, according to correspondence last month between commission chair Thomas A. Beilein and State Senator James Seward, whose district includes Cortland County.
"The commission is cognizant of the financial challenges Cortland County faces and will continue to provide technical assistance through the design, contrsuction and new jail opening process," Beilein wrote in the October letter.
The recently-formed Public Safety Facility Needs and Assessment Committee reviewed the letter at its November meeting.
The variance was first granted in 2014 on the condition that the county pursue a new jail facility. The 30 beds are located in a space that used to serve as the jail's gymnasium.
Another variance adopted in 1997 allows the jail to house an additional 13 inmates. While the jail was built to house 50 inmates, the facility will house up to 93 inmates at any given point.