County eyes grant for project

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday will consider submission of a federal grant application and bidding for construction of an automated weather observation station at the county airport.

Supervisors are expected to consider submittal of the application to the Federal Aviation Administration at the board’s monthly meeting at the County Office Building.

The county’s 2013 capital budget contains a $200,000 appropriation for purchase and installation of the weather station at the airport off Route 67.

McFarland Johnson Engineering of Saratoga Springs was hired to design the project and estimated it would cost about $185,000. Fulton County’s actual share of the cost would be $9,260.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead told the board’s Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee last week the county’s original plan was to solicit bids by now and get pre-approved FAA reimbursement. But he said the engineers had to look at different locations for the station.

“We’re actually behind on the bidding,” Stead said.

He said the state Department of Transportation “doesn’t want us to wait any longer” to submit for the funding.

According to county Planning Director James Mraz, Fulton County has about $600,000 in non-primary entitlement funds available to it from the FAA for projects at the airport. Those funds pay for 90 percent of a project’s cost, the state pays 5 percent, and the county pays 5 percent.

In order to obtain the federal funds, the county must submit a construction grant application to the FAA now before seeking bids.

The committee last week also approved a proposed resolution for Monday’s meeting to advertise for bids to purchase and install the weather station.

If the board does that, the county is slated to advertise for bids July 10 and open bids July 24.

The committee is expected to review the bids July 29, with the full board awarding a contract Aug. 12. Work on the project is slated to start in October and AWOS is slated to be installed by November.

“Hopefully, we’ll get this completed by no later than mid-fall,” Stead said.

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