Supes authorize change order

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County supervisors this week authorized a roughly $250,000 change order for the county’s ongoing VHF Simulcast System upgrade project.

The Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee took the action at the County Office Building.

County Emergency Management Director Steven Santa Maria said state grant funding will cover the cost of the added work.

“I just want permission to do a change order,” he said.

The $250,584 change order would involve a Motorola Solutions/Pittsfield Communications contract. Fulton County is being reimbursed 100 percent.

Fulton County is doing a multi-year VHF system upgrade for a countywide, four-channel analog narrowband VHF simulcast system. The county currently utilizes several towers for emergency communication dispatching involving police, fire and EMS. But the process sometimes lends itself to complications. The 911 dispatchers have to constantly switch back and forth between towers, officials say. The situation can be confusing for 911 dispatchers.

The new analog simulcast system will allow the dispatcher to press one button to communicate with all the towers. The new equipment will also help shore up some radio gap areas.

Santa Maria recounted how the county in 2018 received a $471,118 state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services State Interoperable Communications grant.

Supervisors approved using $250,000 of that funding for addition of a sheriff office data channel frequency to the simulcast arrangement at five tower sites. The change order is for the addition of the frequency to the simulcast arrangement at the tower sites.

Santa Maria said that by incorporating this scope of work into the current project and contract – and completing work as part of the main project and not creating a separate project – the county will realize a “significant savings” by not incurring additional design or mobilization costs.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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