HERKIMER — The Herkimer County Legislature has set a public hearing regarding the use of eminent domain in acquiring property to build a new jail facility during a meeting earlier this week.

The Legislature voted 13-4 in favor of the resolution on Wednesday, with legislators Greg Malta, Robert Schrader, John Brezinski and Peter Manno voting against it.

"We need to move forward on the project. It’s been 18, 19 years," county Administrator Jim Wallace said during a telephone interview Friday. "We’re still hopeful we will be able to make a regular sale."

The county Legislature has been looking to build a new jail facility on the former P&C site on state Route 28. Earlier this year, a judge favored on the side of the county — after years of dispute with the village of Herkimer — that they didn’t have to follow the village’s zoning restrictions.

In August, the Legislature voted to offer $584,000 to purchase the 26.9 acres of land, while also reserving the right to use eminent domain if an agreement couldn’t be reached with the seller. Malta, Schrader and Manno voted against that resolution, while Brezinski was absent.

Wallace said negotiations are still ongoing with the property owner of the site — RAG Herkimer, LLC. The Legislature authorized bonding for construction of the new jail at the location in February 2011.

"The property is assessed for $200,000. A couple hundred thousand," said Wallace.

The price being asked for the property from the owner is over $1 million, said Wallace.

Eminent domain procedure law requires the county to hold a public hearing prior to the acquisition of private property from a property owner by eminent domain in order to inform the public and to review the public use to be served by the proposed project and the impact on the resident environment and local residents, according to the county’s resolution.

The hearing has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, in the Legislature chambers on the third floor of the county office building at 109 Mary St., Herkimer, and will be conducted by the Legislature’s Committee on Public Safety and Emergency Management.

"The county attorney will give the reasons and the rational for why we need to do it and go through the whole process," said Wallace.

Wallace said the public will then have an opportunity to speak during the hearing.