JOHNSTOWN - Fulton County may charge the state more to use a communications tower.
The state Department of Transportation has a longstanding agreement with the county to use space on the county's communications tower on Bleecker Mountain.
County Civil Defense-Fire Coordinator Allan Polmateer said last week that lease arrangements for use of the tower by the state and two other outside entities expire Dec. 31. The county wants all three groups to pay $1,000 more, but the state is balking.
"I have the three contracts here that expire in 2012," Polmateer said.
He requested and received preliminary approval from the Board of Supervisors' Public Safety Committee authorizing agreements for lease of the communications tower with: DOT, National Grid and Lexington Center. The full board will vote Nov. 13 on the new leases, which will each total $6,000 per year beginning Jan. 1, pending adoption of the 2013 county budget.
Polmateer said his office recommended $1,000 more from each entity this time. The new agreements run for two-year terms until Dec. 31, 2014.
County Administrative Officer Jon Stead told the committee he was told by a local DOT official the county increasing the fee was "unfair."
"I told him I wasn't sure how much sympathy you [supervisors] would have for the state of New York," Stead said.
He said DOT indicated to him Fulton County's tower contract is the most expensive of its kind the state maintains in the region.
On another matter, Polmateer requested and received authorization from the committee to sign $27,451 worth of 2013 contracts between county departments and Massachusetts-based Pittsfield Communications for annual radio maintenance.
"These are the same as the last three years," Polmateer said.
The 2013 departmental breakdowns for maintenance service contracts were: fire - $14,938; highway - $4,947; EMS-public health - $4,818; Solid Waste Department - $2,076; and Department of Social Services - $670.
The full board will vote on the final contracts Nov. 13.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at email@example.com.