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Cochecton heightens security

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — Effective immediately, access to the Cochecton Town Hall outside of its normal business hours will require entry of a four-digit personal identification code into the building’s security system. Supervisor Gary Maas made the announcement at the town board’s January 2 reorganization meeting.

Maas said the new procedure was prompted by a recent incident that he couldn’t discuss, declining even to say if it included theft, bodily harm and/or property damage.

Under the new procedure, everyone who needs access to the town hall building after regularly-scheduled business, court session, tax collection and board meeting hours must punch a four-digit code into the building’s alarm system. Among those granted such access are town board members, planning board members, zoning board of appeals members, town officials and members of several nonprofit organizations that use the hall for their meetings.

Town board members and town officials will each have a code of their own choosing. The board is still debating whether organizations will be assigned one code, to be used by each of its members, or whether individual codes will be assigned to each organization member.

Cochecton installed a sophisticated security system in its town hall and highway department buildings two years ago, following a rash of vandalism and theft incidents that included highway department equipment. But surveillance cameras, entry alarms and mobile security alerts have apparently been insufficient to deter every security breach. Maas said the “modest fee” for adoption of the four-digit code enhancement to the existing security system should give the town a healthy return on its investment.

With the new code enhancement in place, the security system will produce a record of after-hours building access that includes date, time, access point, and identity of each entrant.

In other business, the board reappointed Karen Mannino as town attorney, Paul Salzberg as town health officer, and Margaret “Peggy” Richardson as deputy town clerk, all to serve at the board’s pleasure. Planning board chair Earl Bertsch was reappointed to a one-year term expiring 12/31/2019. Larry Richardson was reappointed as UDC and Upper Delaware Scenic Byway liaison for 2019. Dick Pomes of Cochecton Center was appointed to fill the planning board vacancy created when Joe Manaseri’s term expired on 12/31/2018. Zoning Board of Appeals chair Jerry Yavarkovsky, whose term expired 12/31/2018, was reappointed to a one-year term expiring 12/31/2019.

Property tax season is in full swing. Tax collector Eileen Hennessy will accept tax payments in person at the town hall (74 Smales Road, Lake Huntington, NY) Tuesday through Thursday evenings from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays by appointment. For more information about tax payments, visit https://townofcochectonny.org/government/tax-collector/, or call Hennessy at 845/932-8360, ext. 17.

The next regular meeting of the Cochecton Town Board took place on Wednesday, January 9, at 7:30 p.m. See next week’s issue for coverage of that meeting.

 

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