Niagara Gazette


February 16, 2014

Lewiston town officials have an eye on gas pumps

Niagara Gazette — Lewiston officials are working on a way to make sure security at town gas pumps is capable of keeping potential theft to an absolute minimum. Some said it’s going to take a monitoring system to keep employees honest.

Supervisor Dennis Brochey and Highway Superintendent Doug Janese both concur a video camera would be the next logical step the town can take to further prevention of theft.

“As soon as I won the election (in November), I sat down and talked to Doug about what was going to happen,” Brochey said. “We decided on putting a camera system in where we can watch what’s happening from any computer.”

Current procedures at the pumps require an employee with a key anytime beyond normal business hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Besides this, security requires anyone looking to fill up at the pumps to enter a four-digit PIN and the mileage of the vehicle being fueled before selecting either diesel or unleaded gasoline.

Talk of upgrading security measures at the Swann Road pumping station, a part of the highway department facilities, has been around since 2011 when state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office released an audit finding the town’s mathematical calculation didn’t match the actual amount measured in pump storage.

The audit made five recommendations to help in rectifying the situation, from upgrading its requirements to include odometer readouts to access fuel to requiring Janese to delete any old PINs belonging to employees no longer with the town.

Security at the pumps was stressed even more after the town board held a series of executive sessions this past summer to discuss a police personnel matter. An investigation by the Niagara Gazette in October revealed accusations of gas theft were made against a pair of officers in the Lewiston force, leading to disciplinary action taken by the town board despite no formal criminal charges being issued in the matter.

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