Public hearing set for phone surcharge

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County supervisors on Monday set a public hearing for July 10 regarding a proposed local law to mandate that people wishing to purchase a prepaid cell phone pay a surcharge.

The hearing will be conducted at 2 p.m. that day in the board of supervisors chamber at the County Office Building.

The local law, if enacted, would mandate people purchasing a prepaid cell phone in Fulton County to pay a public safety surcharge by Dec. 1, like those with postpaid devices do already. The 2017-18 state budget includes new county authority to charge a 30-cent surcharge on all prepaid and postpaid devices.

Most counties, including Fulton County, enacted local laws in 2012 to establish a surcharge on wireless cell phone devices. At that time, state law only applied to postpaid devices. The board will eventually repeal the 2012 local law and enact a new blanket surcharge for all cell phones — both postpaid and prepaid.

In board committee reports, Human Services Committee Chairman Warren Greene noted the county Department of Social Services’ Foster Care unit’s parents were recently honored at Harold’s Restaurant.

“Obviously, I think all the foster care parents should be commended,” Greene said.

Johnstown 2nd Ward Supervisor Mike Kinowski, board chairman, reported the county’s recent shared services meeting was helpful.

“It was actually very productive,” he said.

Kinowski said another shared services meeting with other municipal officials will be conducted at 6:30 p.m. July 10.

In other regular business:

∫ The board set a public hearing on Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s proposed 2017-18 budget for 1:30 p.m. July 10 at the County Office Building.

∫ Supervisors authorized a not-to-exceed $97,000 Fulton County Airport airfield lighting design services agreement with Passero Associates of Rochester for engineering services. Federal aid will pay $90,000 for the project, and state aid will pay $5,000.

∫ The purchase of a $5,000 patrol-car mounted camera for use in the county Sheriff’s Department was approved.

∫ The board authorized a $147,600 contract with JMZ Architects of Glens Falls to prepare design plans and bid specification for an FMCC campus bathrooms and locker rooms project.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at

By Patricia Older

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