ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County lawmakers need to know whether Motorola will honor the warranties if its two-way radios are installed by someone other than a licensed dealer.
About $25,000 separates two proposals for installation and programming of new public-safety radios in fire apparatus, ambulances and police vehicles throughout Essex County.
The high bid is from Wells Communications of Plattsburgh, a Motorola dealer, at $120,750, while the low bid is from Capital Digitronics of Albany for $94,692.
Capital is not a Motorola dealer, so the question that faced the County Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee on Tuesday is whether the radio manufacturer, Motorola, would still honor the equipment warranties.
“Is that warranty covered by both of these bidders?” Supervisor Roby Politi (R-North Elba) said. “You don’t want to award the bid to a bidder that’s going to affect the long-term warranty of the radios.”
Politi said the county should be sure Motorola will accept the workmanship of the installer.
County Emergency Services Director Donald Jaquish said he will contact Motorola.
“It may be wise to get a statement from Motorola that they will honor the warranty regardless of the installer,” Jaquish said.
PAYING FOR INSTALLATION
The digital VHF high-band radios have been delivered to the local agencies and are being stored by them until installation takes place.
The Public Safety Committee unanimously passed a resolution to pay for installation, with another vote at the Ways and Means session Nov. 25 and a final vote Dec. 2.
Installation will be part of the county’s new radio project, employing some of the $1.4 million state grant that was used to buy the radios.
“Some of these small (fire) companies don’t have the money to install,” Supervisor Daniel Connell (D-Westport) said. “If they can’t afford to install the radios, we don’t have a countywide system.”
The entire radio network is expected to cost the county about $12 million and will replace a 1950s-era setup that was failing. A serial bond issue was previously approved to pay for the system.
About 400 radios are awaiting installation, Jaquish said.
“We have the list from the fire departments,” County Manager Daniel Palmer said. “We know which one they want installed in which vehicle.”
Supervisor Randy Preston (I-Wilmington), the Public Safety Committee chair, said the county isn’t paying for portable radios, and each department will have to buy its own hand-held units.
“As far as to bids, that’s a no-brainer,” Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) said. “That’s quite a separation in price.”
Jaquish and Palmer said they will get the warranty information to supervisors at the Ways and Means meeting, if they want to make a decision on the contract award then.
Email Lohr McKinstry:email@example.com