Grant funds to buy computer equipment

JOHNSTOWN – Three years after Fulton County was awarded a $37,800 grant designed to shelter animals in emergencies, the Civil Defense Department has finalized how it will spend the money.

Civil Defense Coordinator Allan Polmateer on Monday told the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee he plans to spend the final $5,000 of the 2010 grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security on computer equipment and supplies.

The committee approved the measure, which requires approval by the Finance Committee before it’s voted on by the full board.

The purchases would include two laptops for $1,196 each, software totaling $508, two scanners totaling $206 and a $499 printer.

“I’ve got to ask a stupid question, I guess: How do you use the laptops for animals?” asked Northampton Supervisor Linda Kemper, who heads the committee.

Polmateer told the committee the laptops could be put into circulation within the county and replace older models. County Administrative Officer Jon Stead noted that under the terms of the grant, equipment can be used for other functions as long as it’s “used in an emergency when the time comes.”

Polmateer said it took years to exhaust the grant’s funds because price quotes for some items were slow to come. The items, which include kennels and a large sheltering trailer, also can be used in Montgomery or Hamilton counties, under terms of the grant. The items are designed to be used in disasters, such as an animal shelter destroyed in a hurricane, but Polmateer said any animal-related emergency would be OK if the Sheriff’s Department was involved.

“We would be able to help with something like that,” he said.

The committee also approved Polmateer’s department applying for a $25,285 Emergency Performance Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The grant, which the county regularly earns, is used to offset salaries and benefits. The full board will vote to accept the grant at its March meeting.

The committee also approved several other resolutions on Monday that will require approval from the full board:

William Ferguson of Gloversville, the retired director of operations and facilities for the Gloversville Enlarged School District, was approved for a spot on the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

The sheriff’s department will use $1,170 remaining in 2009 State Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program funds to purchase a digital radio to allow 911 communication with Saratoga County.

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