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County may stay with Frontier service

August 31, 2012
By ARTHUR CLEVELAND , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN-The Fulton County Board of Supervisors' Finance Committee on Thursday reviewed a new proposal for computer networking services from Frontier Communications that could cost the county less than a proposal from a rival company.

Frontier is the county's current provider of metro ethernet services, which connect computers on the county's data network among its buildings.

The county had received a proposal from Tech Valley Communications of Albany to provide metro ethernet services at a cost of $5,050 per month.

According to Committee Chairman Gregory Fagan, that would have resulted in "modest savings" over the original Frontier plan.

The committee was set to discuss the Tech Valley offer at it Aug. 13 meeting, but Frontier made a counteroffer to provide the services at $3,807 per month, which would result in almost $75,000 in savings over the course of a five-year contract.

The committee voted to send a resolution to the full Board of Supervisors authorizing the board chairman to sign a contract with Frontier, which has local offices and employs many county residents.

County Information Services Director Tony Basile previously told the committee the county's data network needs to be reconfigured because the former county infirmary and mental health clinics have been shifted to the private sector.

Basile said the existing configuration is a hybrid network, with fiber-optic cable connecting the County Office Building, Services Complex and Fort Johnstown Annex. Other county locations - including the Department of Social Services building - are connected via metro ethernet furnished by Frontier Communications.

The Tech Valley proposal had called for all the buildings to be connected via fiber-optic cable.

In other Fulton County Finance Committee news:

Both positions are about 95 percent grant-funded, with their salaries and benefits totaling about $100,000.

The coordinator is paid $34,090 and the assistant is paid $28,225. Both are full-time positions.

The matter will go to the full board for approval.

Board of Elections commissioners Brett Preston and John W. Schermerhorn had called for a $5 increase in the wage, from $15 to $20 per hour. He said the last pay increase for the technicians came in 1997.

Instead, Schermerhorn said today, the Finance Committee agreed to put the technicians on the same schedule for pay raises as nonunionized county employees.

That would increase the hourly wage to about $17 per hour in 2013 and $18 per hour the following year.

Schermerhorn said the committee also supported extending the warranty on the ballot-counting machines, which was due to expire this year.

 
 

 

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