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Security system approved for old Genesee County Courthouse

BATAVIA – The old Genesee County Courthouse is set to receive a new measure of security as a result of action taken Wednesday night by the Genesee County Legislature.

Lawmakers approved a $35,457 contract for a security system and maintenance agreement with U&S Services of the City of Tonawanda. Nearly $30,000 will be paid through sales tax revenues, with the rest coming from the county’s information technology account.

The county manager and staff currently have offices at the old County Courthouse, which also is the venue for the Legislature’s full board and committee meetings.

“It’s a buzzer system with cameras letting us know who is about to enter the building,” said Assistant County Manager L. Matthew Landers, who worked with security consultants to create a policy and procedure for the upgrade. “Sometimes, there are only one or two people in the building, working on the second floor, and they don’t know who has come in.”

Landers said the building will be open to the public with the cameras turned off during times when civic meetings are scheduled. He said installation of the equipment should take about two months to complete.

The Legislature also authorized the county treasurer to disburse funds accrued through the mortgage tax to the county’s 13 towns, seven villages and the City of Batavia. The distribution of $292,934 represents the first of two payments scheduled for this year, and reflects a $48,000 increase over the first payment of 2014.

County Clerk Don M. Read said the money is consistent with outlays made over the last six years.

“Payments have been in the $225,000-to-$300,000 range,” he said. “I can’t think of any particular recording or large business refinancing that would have caused the increase. Generally, we’re more stable (in mortgage tax disbursements) than Erie or Monroe county on either side of us.”

The city topped the list with an allocation of $76,560, followed by the towns of Batavia ($49,895), Le Roy ($29,692) and Pembroke ($22,099).

Another mortgage tax distribution will take place in November.

In addition, the Legislature:

• Approved annual funding contracts with no increases with Mercy Flight for $14,250 and the county Agricultural Society (Genesee County Fair) for $11,000.

• Accepted a $19,000 grant from Health Research, of Menands, for Ebola preparedness and response activities through Dec. 31, 2015, and up to $38,000 by Sept. 30, 2016.