2017-11-08 / Front Page

Town of Hamden Has Constabulary as of Nov. 1

By Sara Andros

Two public hearings were held prior to the town of Hamden meeting on Nov. 1.

The first was a hearing on the preliminary budget. Supervisor Wayne Marshfield announced that for the sixth year in a row, the town is under the tax cap. The tax levy for 2018 is $803,292, which is $3,061 under the tax levy limit.

There were increases in the general fund and the highway department fund, but a decrease in the fire and ambulance costs. “What it all boils down to is that we’re under the 1.84 % tax cap,” said Marshfield. There were no comments or concerns voiced by those in attendance, so the hearing was closed. The board later voted unanimously to adopt the 2018 budget.

The second hearing offered residents an opportunity to learn more about Local Law number three of 2017, which involves the establishment of a constabulary. Hamden Town Supervisor Wayne Marshfield provided information about the position of town constable. Attorney Kevin Young was on hand to offer professional legal advice regarding the establishment of a constabulary and other issues.

Per Marshfield, the constable is the highest level of peace officer and falls under the Division of Criminal Justice. The selection and retention of a constable is at the discretion of the town board, and the constable will work as an independent contractor with no benefits. In this instance, there will be no cost to the town of Hamden taxpayers because revenue will be generated from town sponsored law enforcement trainings and certifications. There were no comments from the public, so the second hearing was closed.

The town board later determined that the establishment of the position would have no adverse environmental impact. Supervisor Marshfield was given permission to sign the Town Constable - employment Agreement and a resolution was made and passed to adopt Local Law three for the Town Constable Office.

Marc Calcano, a former New York City and State Park Police Officer was selected by the board to hold the position of town constable. Calcano introduced two other seasoned law enforcement officials who will be assigned to cover the Hamden Justice Court; Richard Kelly from Walton and Timothy Stewart from Bloomville, who is retired from the Delhi Police Department and from the coast guard. The three met with Judge Gay Merrill prior to the meeting to discuss, to answer her questions and provide information.

Some of the duties of a constable are to protect property, attend town meetings when requested, assist the justice court, serve legal papers, provide security for town officials when needed and provide assistance during natural disasters.

The constable can also issue appearance tickets, make warrantless arrests, and possess or take custody of firearms. “Some towns don’t want a constabulary because they say they don’t need law enforcement,” said Calcano, “But we are not here just to issue summons, but rather to be a resource for the community.” Marshfield said “Congratulations to you and your officers. In my eyes it’s a big deal for the town of Hamden.”

Other business:

• Last month the town board elected to change fire protection boundaries. It was determined that there was a duplication of service in the western region of the town. Walton ambulance and Delhi fire were both covering the area. It was decided that for 2018, Delhi will cover both services for that area. That will ensure better coverage and less confusion for 911.

• A one-year fire protection contract instead of a five-year contract will be signed with Walton that will cover the town of Hamden portion of Route 22 up East Brook Road. In 2019, the plan is to make that area part of the Walton Fire District rather than a protection district. Residents will be constituents and will no longer have to depend on the town contracting with Walton for services.

• Bids for a new 2018 Ford F350 4x4 for the highway department were opened and reviewed. The lowest bid came from Chenango Sales out of Greene. However, the cost of a five-year bumper to bumper warranty was not included in the bid. Roger Dibble, the town highway superintendent, believed that their bid would still be the lowest with the added warranty, but will verify that prior to accepting their bid. The board voted to accept the bid that was the lowest with the five year warranty included.

• Councilman Richard Smith gave the flood commission report. He spoke with Graydon Dutcher from Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District (DCSWCD) and Kristin Janke Schneider from the Delaware County Planning Department, about the Local Flood Analysis. It was determined that a public hearing regarding the Local Flood Analysis will be held prior to the regular town meeting on Dec. 6. Dutcher will be on hand to answer any questions.

• Marshfield thanked Councilman Ryan Kilmer for all the prep work he did to get the schoolhouse ready to be painted and the labor he put in to clear trees and brush so the fencing could be installed at the Hawley Cemetery. The fencing installation has been completed and Chris Bodo should be getting started on painting in the next week or so.

• Marshfield said that $34,000 has been received for the purchase of a street sweeper for the highway department. However, the application for money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been returned. The money was going to cover the costs the highway department incurred doing the snow clean up March 14, 15 and 16. FEMA said that March 16 cannot be included, so the forms had to be reworked without it. That will result in a significant reduction in the amount of funds the town will receive.

• Hwy. Superintendent Roger Dibble reported that the $38,660 grant from the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) has been received. The highway department trucks are ready for winter. Dibble also said that the heavy rain on Oct. 29 damaged Stoddard Hollow and Hamden Farms roads. They have repaired Stoddard Hollow and will be working on Hamden Farms in the near future.

• The LED lights were installed in the town hall and highway garage by Lime Energy Services; there has been a significant improvement in the lighting in both buildings.

• When discussing the Hamden storm water portion of the budget, attorney Kevin Young said that the town is currently only spending the interest from the Storm Water Retrofit fund, and will need to spend the money on storm water projects or the town will have to give it back. The board agreed that storm water issues should be scrutinized more closely.

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