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Weather station set for 2013

November 28, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday amended the 2012 capital plan for the county airport's proposed Automated Weather Observation Station project, transferring funding to 2013 because construction won't start until next year.

Board action followed a Finance Committee recommendation at the County Office Building.

"It was supposed to be done in one year," county Budget Director Alice Kuntzsch told the committee. "It's not going to be completed in 2012."

Planning Director James Mraz said today the county is taking unspent money for AWOS and "rolling it" into 2013.

The county has for some time considered AWOS, which will provide on-site weather information to pilots using the Route 67 airport. The county has been planning a capital project to install AWOS. The Federal Aviation Administration will provide 90 percent of the cost, with the state and county each kicking in 5 percent shares.

The county's 2012 capital plan had contained $120,000 for the AWOS project and funds were placed in the airport capital account. Mraz advised that although design work for the project started, construction of the AWOS system won't begin until 2013.

Supervisors in June authorized distribution of a request for qualifications, or RFQs, to eight engineering firms to list a qualification statement. County officials in July deemed McFarland Johnson of Binghamton, Broome County, the most qualified to do design work. The firm submitted a proposal to have the county pay a $29,943 fee for its work.

Mraz has said pilots using the county airport need accurate weather information to land and take off. He said pilots currently try to get information from someone who happens to be at the airport when they radio in. He said AWOS makes the airport more usable, and with no current AWOS system, there is a public safety concern in the county.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at



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