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County eyes $7.2M in capital projects

August 24, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - The Fulton County Board of Supervisors' Capital Projects Committee on Thursday finished its work on a proposed $7.2 million county capital plan for 2013, which is partially funded by $312,000 in local tax-levy funds and doesn't include one of three new patrol cars requested by the Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff Thomas J. Lorey requested three patrol cars in the proposed $96,000 capital plan he submitted to the county. But his plan was trimmed in the overall 2013 plan finalized by the committee Thursday.

County Budget Director Alice Kuntzsch said the 2013 plan that started the committee session Thursday totaled $7.74 million, with about $1.5 million to be funded by the county property tax levy. But after cutting one of the sheriff patrol cars and two road projects, the overall plan was decreased by $547,000 to about $7.2 million, and only $312,000 will be taken from the levy to pay for the plan.

Article Photos

Fulton County supervisors listen Wednesday as Fulton County Planning Director James Mraz, in suit and tie, speaks at the County Office Building. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

The recommended 2013 county capital plan next will be presented to the Board of Supervisors, which will consider whether to approve it later in the year during finalization of next year's county budget. A public hearing on the plan was proposed for Nov. 13 at the County Office Building.

Perth Supervisor Greg Fagan, chairman of the Finance Committee, made the recommendation that the county only pay for two patrol cars in 2013 instead of three.

But Johnstown 4th Ward Supervisor William Waldron, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, noted Lorey's patrol car fleet requests have been chopped by county supervisors the last two years.

"The sheriff really urges the board to keep the three cars," Waldron said. "They need some new patrol cars. The cars have large amounts of miles on them. The repairs are continuing."

Mayfield Supervisor Rick Argotsinger said he doesn't disagree that the sheriff's department has older vehicles. But he contended the department has enough vehicles for the patrols it needs, including at nights.

Fagan also said cutting one of the patrol vehicles out also "fits our plan" of being fiscally responsible in tough times. He said Lorey's request for three vehicles for 2014 was left in the county's 2013-15 capital plan.

Lorey couldn't be reached Thursday or this morning.

The 2013 capital will also include county personal computer and server upgrade plans and a software replacement, an Automated Weather Observing System for the county airport, $70,000 for a roof project at the County Services Complex II on Route 29, and $620,000 worth of landfill projects that include a compactor, gas well work and a skid steer.

Among the larger capital projects on the list for 2013 is the proposed Tryon Technology Park and Incubator Center project in Perth. The project - receiving a $2 million state grant boost - will convert the old Tryon juvenile detention facility into county business park space.

The county dropped any proposed future capital work for Fulton-Montgomery Community College out of the 2013 plan. That work, which included design and construction for the FMCC Classroom and Library buildings, was put off for future years.

County Weights and Measures Director Neil Daley was able to get his proposed, estimated $18,000 pickup truck into the final 2013 capital plan. His request was shot down for the 2012 capital plan.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Daley's current truck - a "hand-me-down" from the county Highways and Facilities Department - recently had part of its frame break and brake lines were damaged.

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

 
 

 

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