Santa Maria starts as fire coordinator

JOHNSTOWN – New Fulton County Civil Defense-Fire Coordinator Steven Santa Maria started Monday, but had no hand in more than $36,000 worth of equipment proposed last week for his department.

Santa Maria this week succeeded former Civil Defense-Fire Coordinator Allan Polmateer, who retired in June.

“Right now, I’m just trying to get my bearings in the office,” Santa Maria said Monday.

But as last pieces of business left over through Polmateer’s tenure, more than $36,000 worth of proposed equipment purchases from leftover grant money were approved last week by the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee. County officials said Santa Maria sat in on the session to observe, but county Administrative Officer Jon Stead reviewed the purchases. The full board will take final votes on the purchases Monday.

The largest proposed new purchase through Santa Maria’s office is $25,853 to purchase eight Level A hazardous materials flash suits and two light towers with grant funds. Santa Maria said the light towers are pieces of equipment used at the scenes of emergencies by certain crews, such as for sewer main breaks.

A previous board resolution allocated $34,000 in funding to be spent through a 2012 federal Haz-Mat Grant Award. The grant is joint-shared among Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties, with Fulton County as lead agency. Remaining funding needed to be spent before the Aug. 31 expiration of the grant.

A separate resolution to come before the board Monday authorizes reallocation of $1,533 in funds to purchase items that include a “first defender” computer system for law enforcement. Again, the county needs to spend the funding – part of a $125,000 2011 federal Haz-Mat Grant Award – by Aug. 31.

The board will consider purchasing one separate $7,195 light tower in another proposed resolution, which uses unspent money from part of a $34,000 federal 2013 Haz-Mat Grant.

A fourth resolution to come before the board allows purchase of three security cameras for $1,475 through 2012 and 2013 state Homeland Security Program Grant funding. The cameras will be used at Santa Maria’s office on Route 29 and pole barn areas.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.