By CRAIG FREILICH
POTSDAM – The Potsdam Town Clerk says the state Department of Environmental Conservation was premature in issuing a press release saying its new sporting license system was ready.
Cindy Goliber said she believes the DEC contractor is “trying to work around the clock to get it working,” but she doesn’t want people to think they can walk into her office and walk out with a fishing or hunting license, because the system has not has not been working properly.
She says the new system worked in testing during a pilot period, but since then the new system has not been able to print out licenses, receipts and reports.
“It came time to go operational and it didn’t work,” she said.
“I do think they are trying to fix the problem. They’ve been trying for a couple of weeks. But they put a press release out saying the system is working,” when it’s not really ready yet, she said.
Goliber said she has spoken with other clerks in St. Lawrence County and elsewhere who are experiencing the same problems.
But DEC has been responsive. Goliber said she is “encouraged” that they have answered her calls, and returned them, as recently as this morning, keeping her up to date. It’s possible, she said, that the problem could be sorted out before the end of the day, but her main concern was people who might come in thinking they could walk out with a fresh license when they can’t yet.
“Thank God it’s not hunting season,” she said.
She explained that the state is moving to a new web-based system for all license applications, and since Verizon’s contract expired at the end of the year, the DEC has been preparing to use the new system.
“It’s been rolling out slowly. I was part of the pilot program with about five or six other clerks, and the test printing worked fine.”
But since then, she said, it hasn’t worked well. At one point she made a test of her own, and the printers did not put out what they was supposed to.
The receipt printer is a regular printer, and the license printer is a new one supplied by the state, Goliber said.