Cochecton’s shy dove

Posted 7/3/19

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — “In the nine and a half years I’ve been supervisor, I’ve caught more [an expletive used here to mean criticism and/or complaints] on this than on any …

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Cochecton’s shy dove


LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — “In the nine and a half years I’ve been supervisor, I’ve caught more [an expletive used here to mean criticism and/or complaints] on this than on any other issue.” Supervisor Gary Maas’s remark opened the June 24 meeting of the Cochecton Town Board recessed from June 12. He was referring to public outcry regarding placement of one of the town’s two Woodstock memorial doves.

The town-sponsored dove now occupies a place at the rear of the Fosterdale Motor Lodge parking lot, almost hidden from the view of drivers passing it in either direction on Route 114. People asked Maas to move it to a more visible location, preferably at the Fosterdale Route 52/17B intersection.

That will happen. To spare taxpayers any expense, Maas and deputy supervisor Ed Grund will personally move the 150-pound dove (plus weighted base designed as a sturdy and secure foundation on which the dove will rest for years) to a location opposite the Fosterdale convenience store on Route 52.

“I hope that makes people happy,” said Maas. Originally thinking the doves little more than a county gimmick to promote tourism, Maas was amazed at the intense interest they sparked among residents. In fact, the doves have become symbols of local pride, causing people to enjoy again that old-fashioned country pastime of “taking a ride to see what’s there.”

The town’s other dove was sponsored by the Cochecton Fire Station Restaurant and is located near the junction of Cochecton Road, Cochecton Turnpike and Route 114.
The board turned its attention to the reason for its meeting: reallocation of almost a half million dollars. Highway superintendent Kevin Esselman reported the cost of two essential purchases for his department: $98,000 for a pickup truck capable of sanding, salting and plowing; and $143,000 for a new loader. The loader will be purchased on state bid, the truck from Robert Green Chevrolet.

In addition to setting aside the highway department purchase money, estimated at $240,000, Maas announced his intention to shift general fund monies into a New York Cooperative Liquid Assets Securities System (NYCLASS) account, to secure the highest interest rates currently available to municipal government funds. Maas received the blessing of the town’s auditor, Cooper Arias, to do so, during its May 8 presentation of audit findings to the board.

According to its website (, “NYCLASS is a short-term, highly liquid investment fund, designed specifically for the public sector. NYCLASS provides the opportunity to invest funds on a cooperative basis in short-term investments that are carefully chosen to yield favorable returns while striving to provide maximum safety and liquidity.”

Cochecton follows the towns of Callicoon and Thompson, as well as several local school boards, in NYCLASS investment.

The last order of business was a resolution to appoint independent contractor Linda Drollinger (this reporter) to sort and organize town records in the new town hall archives vault. Maas explained that records transported from the old town hall were packed hastily in boxes and left in the vault for future organization and shelving. When assessment records were recently needed, hours of manpower were required to locate them. The assignment is expected to be completed within a maximum of 100 hours; the contractor will be paid the hourly rate received by all Cochecton town clerks.

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