Station nearly finished

JOHNSTOWN – Construction work begun last fall on the Fulton County Airport’s new $212,000 automated weather observation station is close to completion, pending a Federal Communications Commission license.

The county’s 2013 capital budget contained an appropriation for purchase and installation of the weather station at the airport off Route 67 in the town of Johnstown. The project began last October.

“The manufacturer has to secure a license with the FCC,” county Planning Director James Mraz said. “We’re basically waiting on that.”

Mraz told the county Board of Supervisors’ Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee last week the ongoing project is basically on hold until the federal approval.

Local pilots have told county officials weather data would be helpful for landing and taking off at the airport. The county previously awarded a $190,420 bid to O’Connell Electric of Victor, Ontario County, for construction of the AWOS project.

Fulton County has about $600,000 in non-primary entitlement funds available from the Federal Aviation Administration for projects at the airport. Those funds pay for 90 percent of a project’s cost. The state pays for 5 percent, and the county pays 5 percent.

Mraz told supervisors electrical conduit work on the weather station was completed. He said the pad for a tower has been poured and the base of the structure has been attached.

Colorado-based Vaisala Inc., the company supplying the weather station unit, filed the application with the FCC on behalf of Fulton County for radio service authorization for the new unit. Mraz said the FCC requested additional information from Vaisala.

Mraz said a construction stop-work order was issued Dec. 4. He said as soon as the FCC license is issued, O’Connell Electric will complete its work.

Binghamton firm McFarland Johnson has a $20,291 contract for construction administration for the project. Mraz said he is working with the firm to process construction and construction administration invoices, as well as FAA grant application reimbursement.

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