New Leb eyes more insurance

NEW LEBANON—At the December 9 meeting of the Town Board, Supervisor Michael Benson suggested that the town switch its public officers liability insurance coverage. This type of insurance protects the town from liability for “fraudulent activity” by any town employee—typically theft or embezzlement.

In the plan that Mr. Benson suggested, the town’s new insurance coverage limit for these cases would be $1 million—a $760,000 increase from the town’s current $240,000 limit. The new policy would be blanket coverage for every town employee, as opposed to the piecemeal coverage that the town currently has.

The New York Municipal Appraisal Company recently reappraised the town’s assets at $1,578,594, up from $1,359,921. Mr. Benson said that because the town’s average bank balance is over $1 million, he believes the increased coverage “would be prudent.”

Mr. Benson’s proposal will be discussed at the board’s year end meeting December 30 at 6 p.m. at the Town Hall.

In other business this week:

  • The board received an appraisal on the town’s former gravel pit. The topic was tabled until January because two of the board’s members were not present at the meeting, but Mr. Benson said, “For the record, my opinion is that the minimum bid should be $10,000”
  • Two public hearings were scheduled, both for January 13. The first involves the Lebanon Valley Protective Association’s attempt to switch its tax status from 501(c)(4) to 501(c)(3). The second is for Local Law #1. The hearings will be held at 6:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. respectively.
  • The annual organization meeting is scheduled for January 5 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall
  • The board appointed Bob Weber to the Board of Assessment Review
  • Resident Judy Zimmer said that she was “happy to share that Kinder Morgan has changed their mind” about building a new natural gas pipeline through northern Columbia County, but that she is “concerned for our neighbors.” The new proposed route for the pipeline would go through parts of Rensselaer County and northern Massachusetts.

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