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December 27, 2014
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Cochecton endorses Class III gaming


The Town of Cochecton board passed two resolutions at its August 14 regular monthly meeting aimed at making Sullivan County more attractive and prosperous. One resolution endorsed pending New York State legislation designed to permit a limited number of Class III gaming facilities within the mid-Hudson region, defined to include Sullivan and Ulster counties. Another set hearing dates for review and determination of further action on decaying properties containing unsafe structures.

Supervisor Gary Maas reported that the gaming legislation had been a topic of discussion at the most recent meeting of the Sullivan County Board of Supervisors, where county officials urged supervisors to adopt resolutions supporting it as a means of economic benefit to the county and state. Noting that nearby states presently reap economic benefit from New York State residents traveling to Class III gaming facilities within those states, officials pointed out that the mid-Hudson region has long been a favorite destination of vacation and recreation travelers and is therefore a natural choice for gaming facilities. Maas announced that all of the supervisors, with one exception, were in favor of endorsement resolutions.

Class III gaming encompasses those forms of gaming normally confined to casinos, including slot machines, card games, dice games and roulette. After pointing out that gaming is not without some adverse social and economic consequences and noting that it has been historically opposed on ethical grounds by some individuals and groups, Larry Richardson cast the only negative vote.

The other resolution established September 25 at 7 p.m. as the hearing date and time for review of actions to be taken by the town with regard to certain properties containing unsafe structures. Code enforcement officer Greg Semenetz reported that an offer has been made to purchase The Pines property, and that the buyer has signaled an intention to either renovate or remove the unsafe structures on it. He also noted that there is considerable new construction in the town at this time.

In her report to the board later in the same meeting, tax collector Eileen Hennessy presented information on software currently used by other towns that enables taxpayers to use a credit card for payment of tax bills. This can be done in one of two ways: either as an online credit purchase from a home computer, or as an in-person credit purchase, in which case the card would be swiped at town hall. It may also make credit card payments possible for licensing fees, permits, fines and other municipal charges. Although a service charge is associated with each credit card payment, there would be no cost to the town; the service charge would be incurred by the taxpayer. Citing a testimonial from her counterpart in a municipality that has been using the software for the past year, Hennessy urged the town to purchase it. Maas said it sounded promising, and agreed that he and Hennessy would conduct a conference call with the software company, to determine both its suitability for town needs and its compatibility with existing town network software.

Office of the Aging liaison Richard Schulman reported that the services of a licensed family nurse practitioner are now available in Liberty and White Sulphur Springs, and that barter-type payment will be accepted from cash-strapped patients. More information about this service can be obtained by calling 845/292-9114.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m. Meeting minutes and information about Town of Cochecton ordinances and government can be found at www.townofco chectonny.org.