Kratz appointed to Cochecton office

By LINDA DROLLINGER
Posted 5/19/20

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — Jenna Kratz, a 2019 graduate of Sullivan West Central School District, has been appointed to a five-year term on Cochecton’s Board of Assessment Review (BAR). The …

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Kratz appointed to Cochecton office

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LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — Jenna Kratz, a 2019 graduate of Sullivan West Central School District, has been appointed to a five-year term on Cochecton’s Board of Assessment Review (BAR). The appointment was made by a unanimous decision of the Cochecton Town Board at its May 13 live-streamed meeting.

Recommended for the appointment by town assessor Lorry King, Kratz joins a three-person panel that reviews property owner challenges of real property tax assessments. She replaces outgoing Grace DePasquale and will serve on the panel with her mother, Kasey Kratz, and Pauline Johnson. Currently in college, Kratz is probably the youngest BAR appointee in Cochecton’s history.

The appointment is timely. The last Tuesday in May is New York State’s official Grievance Day. Assessment appeal forms must be filed before that date in order to be considered by the town’s BAR. This year, Grievance Day falls on May 26, and will be held live from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Cochecton Town Hall.

Asked if BAR has the last word on assessments, supervisor Gary Maas said, “If BAR upholds the assessor’s original assessment figure, the property owner may appeal that decision to the county.” For more information about assessment challenge procedures, see www.bit.ly/RRgrievproced.

Masked and practicing generous social distancing, the board met alone, save for two media representatives. Maas acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on most local government activity. This month, his correspondence, normally consisting of 15-plus items, was one letter announcing postponement to October of a fundraiser normally held in May.

“I guess the youth commission isn’t doing anything, either,” said Maas., who was surprised a moment later to hear that the youth commission has been paying for DIY project kits ordered from Amazon for home delivery to the town’s youth. Educational projects of every kind, including chemistry sets, home science experiments, art, cooking and needlecraft sets, are but a few of the kits received so far.

Code enforcement officer Greg Semenetz reported that, in spite of the pandemic shutdown, new construction continues, as does demolition of unsafe buildings. And increased use of weekend and seasonal homes, due to the pandemic, has resulted in an unexpected circumstance: septic tank replacements are way up this year.

The board noted that neighbor town Tusten decided to hold its annual spring cleanup day on May 16 with social distancing guidelines to be observed. Specifically, that means no assistance with unloading of items, a service that town has offered in the past. Cochecton decided to postpone its annual spring cleanup days to the end of summer when seasonal residents are closing up their second homes. A late August date is under consideration.

In the good news department, Maas was delighted with the county legislature’s decision to require Sullivan County Department of Public Works (DPW) to continue Saturday operation of its Western Sullivan Transfer Station. Last week, DPW announced that the transfer station would be closed on Saturdays and open instead on Fridays to reduce staff overtime costs. Taking note of extremely high business volume on Saturdays, the legislature arranged to keep the transfer station open for the convenience of its many Saturday patrons. Operating hours remain as before: 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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