Fulton County to install tracking devices

Will be utilized to monitor snowplows

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County government is working with a private vendor to purchase a GPS tracking system to better monitor its highway snowplowing vehicles on the road.

Mark Yost, county superintendent of highways and facilities, told the Board of Supervisors’ Public Works Committee Monday that he wants to do something “new” to keep better track of snowplow usage.

Yost proposed and received committee authorization to spend $1,239 to purchase a vehicle GPS tracking system through Verizon Connect for seven highway trucks used as part of the snowplowing fleet.

“It’s tracked through satellites,” he told supervisors.

Yost said this tracking system is currently obtainable through a state Office of General Services contract. He recommended the purchase of the GPS system for its “safety benefits and engine diagnostics advantage.”

The full board will consider final approval on Sept. 10.

Committee Chairman Greg Fagan asked Department of Solid Waste Deputy Director of Operations David Rhodes if these GPS tracking units are the same ones used by the county’s Recycling Division. Rhodes said the units Yost was requesting were more advanced.

Yost said the new system will notify the Highway Department of the following information: exact time and location of the vehicle; when the plow and conveyor are in operation; immediate notifications of engine diagnostics; vehicle mileage; and immediate notification if the vehicle has impact.

In other business by Yost before the committee:

∫ The committee approved awarding a contract to Buell Fuel LLC for purchase of unleaded fuel for the Central Fuel Depot at the county Highway Department and the Solid Waste Department. The total price per gallon for 95,000 gallons at the County Services Complex was listed as $2.08; and the total price per gallon for the 3,500 gallons at the Solid Waste Department was listed as $2.21.

“We had three bidders,” Yost said.

∫ Supervisors authorized the bidding process for heating oil and special blend. The full board will go to bid Sept. 10, with bids due to be opened Oct. 10. A contract for 2019 is expected to be awarded Nov. 13. The current contract with Midnight Oil expires Dec. 31. Fuel would be supplied to the following locations: county Fire Training Center, County Jail, County Office Building, and the county Visitor’s Center.

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