Councilman Jim Ross questioned whether the highway garage really needs $4900 wireless passcards instead of keys.
Councilman Jim Ross questioned whether the highway garage really needs $4900 wireless passcards instead of keys.

Town to spend nearly $5K on access controls

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At Wednesday’s meeting, the Town Board debated approving a $4,900 electronic key card system for the new highway garage. The system would replace traditional keys with RFID enabled cards or key fobs.

Highway superintendent Theresa Burke outlined several advantages to the proposed system. She stated that they system would eliminate the problem caused by lost keys. Currently, if a key is lost the Town must pay to have all the relevant locks replaced or risk unauthorized access to the building. With the new system, a lost key card’s individual Radio Frequency Number could simply be removed from the access computer and a new card added to replace it with no risk.

Additionally, because every issued card has a specific serial number assigned to it, the access computer would be able to track who is in the building at a given time. Burke argued that this would deter theft or other inappropriate access.

Councilman Jim Ross questioned the need for such a system and said he could not necessarily see spending nearly five thousand dollars on a new system.

“It seems to me,” he stated to the Highway Superintendent, “that you could replace every lock quite a few times for five thousand dollars.”

As to the issue of theft, he questioned whether there was really a security problem and if there had been theft in the past. Burke responded that while they had not had to deal with such issues in the past, the new building might be a more appealing target and that the new system would allow the town to identify everyone in the building at the time of a loss.

Ross ultimately agreed to approve the initial bid for the key card system along with the rest of the Board. The Board will look into possible maintenance fees before giving finial approval.

The key card system was one of three systems proposed by the Town’s security contractor for the new highway building. The first system, fire and carbon dioxide detectors, was approved with no objection. The other system, a network of security cameras, was rejected unanimously by the Board.

Construction of the new highway building is proceeding ahead of schedule due to the unseasonably warm weather.

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