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New lease for tower

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County government is entering into new leases for use of the Bleecker Mountain Tower site.

Supervisors recently approved agreements for lease of communications tower space at the county site.

“It’s a one-year term,” county Emergency Management Director Steven Maria told the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee at the County Office Building.

Fulton County has agreements with three agencies for lease of communication tower space on Bleecker Mountain. Agreements expired last Dec. 31 and needed to be renewed for the current year.

Agencies paying rates of $6,500 for 2021 are: The state Department of Transportation, National Grid, and Lexington Center. The annual rates were last increased from $6,000 to $6,500 during the 2019 contract year.

In Santa Maria’s other business before the committee, he requested a budget amendment for permission to utilize $1,750 in 2019 state Division of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Grant funds for frequency coordination and licensing. Use of the funding relates to the county’s V-Call/V-Tac Interoperable Communications System project.

“Part of that project, I need to do some frequency coordination,” Santa Maria stated.

He said frequency coordination and licensing must be done for a frequency at the Broadalbin Tower Site and a frequency at the Gloversville Water Tower Site.

A separate permission was granted by the committee for Santa Maria to attend an Initial Assessment EMS Conference in Glens Falls.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead also told the committee that he and Personnel Director Theresa Souza have been working on a mandate from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The county must develop a plan related to operations during health emergencies. He said the county plan is slightly behind.

“We have a draft, we’re working on it,” Stead said.

He said the plan looks at what has already happened since the COVID-19 pandemic broke about a year ago, including county personnel decisions.

“Our plan, the core of it, is going to be lessons learned,” Stead said.

Stead said the plan may be finalized enough to bring to the Public Safety Committee at its next meeting at 10 a.m. April 26.

Johnstown 3rd Ward Supervisor Jack Callery, board chairman, estimated New York state is the source of the problem.

“I don’t know why we’re wasting our time with this plan,” he said.

Also during the session, county Weights and Measures Director James Callery offered his year-end review of his office’s activities. The report notes at least 30 percent of his time is spent on gasoline pump inspections and tests, with 23 percent weighing devices, and the rest of the workload including other inspections and administrative work.

“The revenue account was down a little this year,” he said.

He said many of the gas outlets in the county aren’t as busy as they once were.

“The economy has been in a complete standstill so there have been no fuel sales,” Callery said.

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