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Mamakating to install better camera system

Vincent Kurzrock
Posted 5/14/24

WURTSBORO   — Town Supervisor of Mamakating Michael Robbins announced the installation of a camera system during their regular meeting on May 5.

During the Work Session, it was …

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Mamakating to install better camera system


WURTSBORO  — Town Supervisor of Mamakating Michael Robbins announced the installation of a camera system during their regular meeting on May 5.

During the Work Session, it was proposed that a camera system be installed in the Drama and Kitchen Buildings - all in an effort to curb issues that have been reportedly happening in the park, such as vandalism and “people driving all over the park.”

“We do have cameras there, they’re just kind of ancient,” explained Robbins. “They’re not really good. You can’t even read the license plates of the cars [that drive around there.]”

Robbins explained that they have a four-system-camera-system in both buildings. They are going to install two on each building for now.

They wanted to upgrade the system, and the total amount of cameras per building are planned to be three.

The cost of installing this system would be $7692 with an initial deposit of $3,842.

During the Business Meeting session, the resolution was made to Approve the two systems from ActaFide. The motion was made by Councilman Matthew Mordas and seconded by Councilman Gary Forthoffer. The resolution was moved.


Highway Superintendent Term Limits

Supervisor Robbins talked of a topic that he discussed with the Highway Superintendent Thomas Morrow previously.

He stated that the Highway Superintendent position is a job that in two years, one “really can’t do” what they need to. He discussed that there is elections every two years for someone that has to create a plan, “a five-year plan and everything else, it’s kind of tough.”

Tom and Robbins agree that the Highway Supervisor job should be a four-year term.

There is a process to change these term limits, which involves a Public Hearing session for the next meeting on May 21 at 6 p.m.

“In the past few years, we’ve been given reason to think about that,” admitted Morrow in his Superintendent’s Report. “There’s pros and cons so I think that’s why this due process gives everybody a chance to think about the opportunities that a four-year term presents, and also the potential drawbacks and I’m sure there’s a bit of both.”

He said that he appreciates the Board bringing the subject to the table.

As part of the Resolutions portion of the meeting, it was passed to have this Public Hearing session, with a motion by Councilman Tyler Wood and seconded by Councilman  Matthew Mordas. 

This approval was echoed by a few Town of Mamaking Residents during the Public Comment sessions for the term limit extension, such as Resident Emily Tompkins who voiced her support that it was a “great idea” over Zoom.


Concerns for the 

Bashakill Creek

During the Highway Superintendent’s Report, Morrow stated that they started mowing around Town.

There is a mower in Wurtsboro and one out in Bloomingburg. This is a process that will continue over the Spring and Summer months.

In the Public Comment session, Resident MaryAllison Farley, spoke before the Board about an issue that came up at the Basha Kill Marshm pertaining to his comments.

She clarified that she has “enormous respect for our Highway Crew and especially Thomas Morrow.”

She appreciated his leadership and approachability, as she spoke to him on the phone earlier that day about the Marsh issue.

“I think we can get along, and yet, we don’t always agree on things,” stated Farley.

She said that she had planned to meet a friend to walk at Haven Road.

The day prior, she observed that the shoulders were mowed in an “excessive fashion.” She referred to the mowing going out into the low growth with bushes and small trees.

“I’ve lived around here for more than thirty years,” explained Farley. “I’ve never seen Haven, as I spoke to Tom earlier today, I’ve never seen it mowed like that.”

Tom told her that the mower isn’t new, and was acquired back in the time of the [Bill] Herrmann administration.

She explained that right in the center of the Basha Kill, the trees are habitat for birds and also butterflies.

When she happened to be there [the morning of the meeting, two of “our main expert birders” were present there.

She stated that one of them is a professional biologist. She stated that both were “very, very upset.”

“It changes the vista, really. I mean the main reason I chose to live in this area is the Basha Kill. It’s an enormous economic driver for our community,” stated Farley. “We’ve shown that in the BKA. We’ve shown that visitors come from all over, whether it’s downstate or upstate. They’re spending their money here.”

She stated that Haven Road is apparently called “the Centerpiece” as far as access to the Basha Kill.

In the context of friendly communication and working things out, she said Superintendent Morrow explained the laws that are driving his actions which she can appreciate.

“I would just suggest that if it’s possible, I think it would be really helpful if the Highway Superintendent, on behalf of the Town, could meet with a few environmentalists and biologists to talk about future mowing,” Farley explained, “I’m all about people getting together and talking and working things out.”

She stated that she respects that Morrow has some constraints around his positionShe stressed that there are other issues at hand, so if a mediate or a get-together was possible, she would “throw that out there” as a possibile suggestion.

A member of the Basha Kill Association spoke on their behalf.

Regarding the mowing, they were wondering if the cutting could be done at a different time of year.

She was wondering if they could get a sort of notice ahead of time and prune.

“Some of those trees got torn up pretty bad and it’s a huge disturbance to the birds at a really delicate time when they’re nesting and having their babies and everything,” explained the representative. “It’s also really destructive to the young trees in the area. Apparently the damage that gets done to the young trees in the area, they look shredded. That type of damage promotes disease in the destroyed trees which can spread to the healthy trees.”

She suggested that maybe it the pruning could be done in a different way.


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