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January 9, 2014

Trustees considering use of cameras in village

The village Board of Trustees is considering whether to install surveillance cameras on Main Street and in other locations, and may vote on the issue at its Jan. 27 meeting. 

At the village’s Dec. 19 meeting the trustees voted unanimously to add electric conduits into the Main Street sidewalks project, but stopped short of authorizing the use of cameras in the village.

The conduits, which will add about $6,000 to the project, are PVC piping to carry electric wiring from an electrical source to street level and can be used for other purposes besides cameras, such as emergency call boxes. The trustees agreed that whether the conduits are used now for cameras or not, it was prudent to add them to the project rather than have a future board want them and need to tear up the new sidewalks to add them.

However, after hearing a proposal from representatives from Adirondack Technologies on cameras types, the trustees decided to wait at least a month before voting on the use of cameras in the village. 

“It is not something I think we should decide now,” Mayor Jeff Katz said at the meeting. “I think it is something that most of the board is considering for the first time, and we all need time to think about it.

“To me, there are a lot of different levels of this,” he continued. “No one wants to live in police state, but we do have certain remote areas, such as the Gateway parking lot off season, where we had a lot of vandalism before we increased the police presence.”

In a follow-up interview with the Cooperstown Crier this week, Katz said he did intend to bring the matter up again, but he wasn’t sure how the board members would vote.

“It does become a question as to do you want a camera watching the village 24-7 and 356 days a year,” he said.

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