Local News

December 3, 2013

Essex County still stalled on radios

ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County lawmakers remained deadlocked Monday over who to hire to install 400 mobile radios for the new public-safety communications system.

Since the County Board of Supervisors heard last week from one bidder, Wells Communications of Plattsburgh, they decided to table the contract award until the other bidder, Capital Digitronics of Albany, had a chance to make a presentation.


At issue is whether the three-year warranty on the digital two-way radios manufactured by Motorola Solutions will be honored if a non-Motorola dealer puts them in fire trucks, ambulances and police cars throughout the county.

Capital is a Harris dealer, while Wells is a Motorola-authorized shop.

But after Capital Digitronics President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas McCabe addressed the Board of Supervisors at Monday’s regular meeting, some supervisors said it raised even more questions and they wanted to hear from Motorola Solutions directly.

A service representative for Motorola had previously told the county in writing that Motorola would not honor the warranty on the radios if a non-Motorola shop did the work or even work with Capital during installations if problems arose.


Wells Communications submitted the high bid at $120,750, which is $26,000 more than the low bid from Capital Digitronics for $94,692.

“This is the first time I can remember having to defend a low bid,” McCabe said at the podium. “We will undertake the installation of the Motorola radios at significant cost savings to the county.”

He said his firm has installed New York State Police and State Department of Transportation vehicle radios, along with New York State Electric and Gas radios.


He said their lead installer is Motorola trained.

“We will warranty our installation work for one year, backed by a performance bond. We can buy genuine Motorola parts and have access to their technical systems center, just like everyone else.

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