February 15, 2013

Cost still not set for radio installation

ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County lawmakers learned this week that emergency-vehicle radio installations for the new county radio network may cost considerably less than anticipated.

The county’s $330,000 estimate, discussed at a recent meeting, was based on an installation fee of $700 and a $50 programming charge for 440 digital VHF high-band radios. But no vendor had provided that figure, County Manager Daniel Palmer said.

He said the price was incorrectly attributed to Wells Communications of Plattsburgh.

“What the installation charges will be haven’t been determined,” he told the County Board of Supervisors Finance Committee on Wednesday. “They (Wells) have served the county for a long time, done an awful lot of work for the county at no charge. They’re a good vendor. They do a good job for us.”

County Emergency Services Director Donald Jaquish said later that the per-radio installation cost from any vendor would probably be closer to $400, and the state contract price is lower yet, at $250 a unit.

“The cost can vary greatly depending on the vehicle it is being placed in. Travel to install is also part of it.”


The county was already providing the digital radios to local fire departments, ambulance squads, police and other users without charge.

In addition, the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee voted Monday to seek bids to install and program the new radios in vehicles countywide. The measure will get a final vote at the board’s March regular meeting.


After Monday’s session, Wells Vice President James Adams said by email that his firm has not prepared any installation pricing for the new radios.

“We are still working on that (prices). This is why we were so perplexed by suddenly seeing a price referenced which doesn’t relate to type of vehicle, how many ancillary devices the radio needs to be connected to and more. Wells Communications has not yet provided formal pricing for any size or style vehicle installation associated with this digital project.”

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