Panel OKs company to build weather station

JOHNSTOWN – An Ontario County electrical company was the low bidder at $190,420 for construction of an automated weather observation station at the Fulton County Airport.

The Board of Supervisors’ Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee on Monday approved three proposed resolutions related to the weather station project, including one awarding a bid in that amount to O’Connell Electric of Victor. The full board will vote on final resolutions Aug. 12. Funding from the county is coming from the county’s 2012 and 2013 capital plans.

County officials say pilots have requested the station for several years.

“We opened bids last week,” county Planning Director James Mraz told supervisors. “There were seven bidders.”

Bids ranged from a high bid of $421,614 from the J. McBain firm of Troy to the $190,420 low bid from O’Connell Electric.

Work on the project is scheduled to start in October, with the weather station installed by November, county officials said.

Mraz said the county is hoping for 90 percent funding from a Federal Aviation Administration grant for the project. The state and county will each kick in 5 percent shares. If the county doesn’t get the grant, the O’Connell contract won’t be awarded, he said. The O’Connell company was recommended by McFarland Johnson Engineering of Saratoga Springs, which designed the project.

“They do a lot of airport work,” Mraz said of O’Connell.

In another proposed resolution, the committee approved a separate $20,291 construction-services agreement with McFarland Johnson. Awarding of that agreement is contingent upon receipt of the FAA grant.

In a third proposed resolution, the committee authorized the board chairman to execute FAA and state Department of Transportation share grants for the project once they come in.

“We’re expecting them shortly,” Mraz said.

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