County accepts grant for drone

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday formally accepted a $12,000 grant to purchase a public safety drone, despite some opposition.

Opposing the move to buy the drone — recommended by Sheriff Richard Giardino — were Mayfield Supervisor Richard Argotsinger, Northampton Supervisor James Groff, Gloversville 2nd Ward Supervisor Frank Lauria, Bleecker Supervisor David Howard and Johnstown Town Supervisor Jack Wilson.

Giardino recently told the board’s Public Safety Committee the county had a chance to accept a $12,000 grant from the Great Sacandaga Lake Advisory Council he applied for to purchase the drone. The sheriff said a drone has many future uses for public safety, including finding missing individuals, observing dangerous situations safely, and assisting the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District, state Department of Environmental Conservation, and fire and emergency medical services around the Great Sacandaga Lake.

“I have no problem with the sheriff obtaining a drone,” Argotsinger told the board.

But Argotsinger said he didn’t think the item was in the “parameters” of spending through the advisory council.

Lauria said area groups have drones that are in use.

“We already have them in the county,” Wilson agreed.

In other board business related to the Sheriff’s Department:

∫Supervisors authorized a $2,067 maintenance contract with Brite Computers of Rochester for sheriff’s office mobile computer software.

∫ The board authorized Giardino to apply for a 2018 New York State Legislative Grant through the office of state Sen. James Tedisco, R–Glenville. The sheriff said grant proceeds could be used for these items: ballistic vests, drug investigation equipment, heroin and opioid training, safety training, and recreational patrol programs.

∫ Giardino was also allowed to apply to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee for a 2018-19 Police Traffic Services Grant to support overtime for sheriff’s patrols related to “Buckle Up NY” and school zones safety enforcement training.

∫ The board supported the New York State Sheriff’s Association call for state funding of armed school resource officers in schools across the state.

∫ A resolution passed to accept a 2002 motor vehicle donated by an unnamed “local” organization for use in the sheriff’s office.

∫ The board awarded these bids to vendors for use from May through August at the county jail: refrigerated foods/dry goods, Ginsberg’s Foods of Hudson – $25,824; frozen goods, Sysco Foods of Halfmoon – $29,234; and bread and rolls, Bimbo Foods of Albany – $4,114.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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