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Cochecton upgrades for 2019

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — At the outset of the December 12 Cochecton Town Board meeting, supervisor Gary Maas’ objective was to set a record for the board’s shortest meeting. That didn’t happen. Detailing a hodge-podge of town plans and options for extensive equipment, technology and infrastructure upgrades took more time than anticipated.

When highway superintendent Kevin Esselman reported that the town has purchased a stump grinder, Maas suggested its first use be on the massive trunk left jutting out from the shoulder of Olsen Road following removal of a landmark tree. Esselman also plans to purchase a tractor and broom attachment, for a total cost of $58,100, as a versatile and cost-effective alternative to a street sweeper. Asked where the broom will be mounted, Esselman said a rear attachment is preferable, as dust raised by the broom is sucked directly into the engine of a front-mounted broom.

Tax collector Eileen Hennessey said the town must find a new vendor to handle online tax payments. Presenting the board with three or four viable options, PayPal among them, Hennessey outlined the pros and cons of each. Compatibility with current town system requirements, privacy and security concerns, ease of setup and approval of the county’s tax collection unit were among the criteria weighed before the board concurred with Hennessey’s recommendation. The board rejected PayPal because it shares user data.

Sewer officer Michael Walter noted that a recent spike in wastewater flow posed a temporary challenge to the town’s upgraded sewer plant, although he was unsure exactly how and why the system had been overwhelmed. His suggestion, that a “sewer cam” be installed for continuous monitoring of plant operation, met with board approval.

Maas ended suspense about operation of the Sullivan West Transfer Station with an announcement that it will remain open during 2019 under a lease agreement with Sullivan County, similar to the one struck last year.

Youth Commission liaison Ed Grund announced the organization’s upcoming events and outings, including a July 2 Yankees/Mets matchup at Mets Stadium, the first in a two-game “subway series.” See the CYC Facebook page for details and registration information.

Maas reminded the public that renewal forms for the enhanced School Tax Relief (STAR) program should be completed and returned to the town assessor before March 1, 2019. For more information about eligibility and the application process, see

A year-end meeting of the board will be held on December 27. The 2019 reorganization meeting will be January 2. Both meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. The board recessed its public meeting and went into executive session.


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