Money starting to flow out for Essex County communications system

The Essex County Board of Supervisors.

The Essex County Board of Supervisors. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— The new Essex County Communications system is to the point where checks need to be written.

During its Nov. 5 regular board meeting, the Essex County Board of Supervisors passed several resolutions to award bids and proposals to several companies to work on the new system.

“I see that the money is starting to move at this point," said Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava, adding that he wanted to know when the county would look to move a bond resolution

“At what point do we move into our bond issue?” he said. “Rates are really good right now.”

“We are hoping that by the end of next summer or fall, the project will be mostly completed and then we will move into that next step,” County Manager Daniel Palmer said.

Palmer said the county is currently looking at project costs around $10.5 million, which includes the original project to replace the radio system and now includes purchasing new equipment for local first responders.

“We are about $500,000 over our target right now,” Palmer said. “It includes the $1.2 million which we paid for the local radios for the local stations which was not included in the original plan. If we had not paid for those, we would still be under the project budget.”

Palmer said that a grant for $3.7 million could also get them below the $10 million threshold.

“If we get this grant, the county may have to only bond for $6 or $7 million instead of $10 million,” Palmer said.

County Attorney Daniel Manning said he felt it was in the best interests of the county to wait before bonding until the project was completed.

“You do not have to, but it would be wise to wait until the end so you know what you are bonding out for,” Manning said.

Among the resolutions:

•Infinigy Engineering was the lowest bidder and will do the civil work for the radio project at an amount of $666,600 funded by the radio project fund.

•An RFP for radio equipment shelters was awarded to United Concrete Products in the amount of $390,204.70.

•Riznick Construction was awarded a bid for telecommunications shelter alterations on Mount Defiance in the amount of $216,374.

•Supervisors authorized the advanced purchase of frequencies for the radio system from Motorola Solutions at a remaining cost of $445,600.

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