County seeking $1.5M radio grant

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County supervisors on Monday supported a state grant application seeking $1.5 million to bolster emergency radio communications between the county and other Adirondack counties and state agencies.

“This is more networking between existing counties,” said county Administrative Officer Jon Stead.

The Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee approved a proposed resolution submitted by Civil Defense-Fire Coordinator Allan Polmateer at the County Office Building. The proposal must go through the Finance Committee on Thursday and the full board on Sept. 9.

Polmateer requested the OK?to apply for the third round of a Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant. He said Fulton County’s share would be $1.5 million. He said the upgrade will be for the Sheriff’s Department’s 911 Communications Dispatch Center. He said the grant will link Fulton County to neighboring counties in an 11-county Adirondack Regional Interoperable Communications Consortium, as well as other state agencies.

“We applied for this last year in round two and we were denied,” Polmateer told the committee.

But he said Fulton County’s chances are better this time for the 100 percent refundable grant money from the state.

Polmateer said some of the $1.5 million will be to upgrades to the county tower sites protecting radio infrastructure, as well as radio microwave links to Saratoga and Herkimer counties. He said the normal police and fire communications won’t be changed too much, but infrastructure changes could include replacing an old communications building on Bleecker Mountain.

Polmateer said the county’s normal radio vendor – Massachusetts-based Pittsfield Communications – will work with whatever company is hired to improve the communications network if the grant comes in.

Stead said the counties that were denied grant money previously were “frustrated” by the process.

He said that process included applying last year as a consortium and then seeing the state award grant funding individually to counties.

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