"I don't see this as a moneymaking proposition, we should not be going into it for that reason. We oughta be looking at the fact that there's overcrowding, there are ways to eliminate the overcrowding and that's not to build a $34.5 million dollar jail on a piece of property that we don't even own," says Carl Streeter, Herkimer County resident.
"The expense on the backs of the taxpayers in this area, we're a poor community, and we can't afford this," says Helen Rose, Herkimer County Legislator.
But not everyone agrees. Plans for a new correctional facility have been on the table for years and some residents think its the right decision.
"The one that we have right now is overcrowded, antiquated, it's a dinosaur," says Raymond Lamanna, Herkimer County resident.
"They have to build it, if they don't build it, they're gonna keep outsourcing their criminals from the herkimer county jail to oneida county jail and it's gonna cost us more money," says Sarah Simpson, Herkimer County resident.
But it's not that easy. The village of Herkimer's recent zoning law tried to exclude the construction of the facility, but the State Commission of Correction said Tuesday that it's siding with Herkimer County in the pending lawsuit and one county administrator says it's long awaited news.
"It's been about a 14 year process. We're boarding out an awful lot of inmates to other counties, it's getting more difficult, more expensive. Last year we spent about 950 thousand dollars, this year we budgeted 950 thousand dollars. Our projection is we'll spend about 1.45 million dollars this year," says Jim Wallace, Herkimer County Administrator.
"Their position that state government trumps local government should scare us all, that should not be the case in all things and zoning of course is an issue for the local government," says Rose.
One resident says there are other cost-effective options besides building a new facility.
"We bring the bad guys in today, keep them overnight, and send them out tomorrow. 4 cells only, everybody else to be farmed out. That would save us millions of dollars, do the math yourself, if i'm sending people out at 100 dollars a day, as opposed to keeping them here at 332 dollars a day, i'm saving a ton of money," says Streeter.
Now the Supreme Court has yet to rule on the suit, but officials hope to hear a decision in the coming weeks.