Purchase of new 911 radio system approved


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Lackawanna County’s aging public safety radio system is getting a major overhaul.

The county commissioners Wednesday awarded a $426,494 contract to Motorola Solutions Inc. to rebuild the 911 communications infrastructure and integrate the system with the county’s 2 Way Radio wireless network.

The county will pay for the project with its $500,409 share of a federal grant through the Community Oriented Policing Services program, said David Hahn, director of emergency services. The county originally sought the COPS grant in 2006 but rewrote the application in 2012 to reflect changes in technology.

Motorola, the sole-source provider for the equipment, will install modern receivers and transmitters for all three county police frequencies at 11 tower sites throughout the county, Mr. Hahn said. Two new tower sites in Greenfield Twp. and at Montage Mountain will eliminate blind spots in the coverage.

He said the equipment being replaced is a minimum of 17 years old.

“Everything is starting to fail miserably,” Mr. Hahn said.

By tying the system into the wireless network, the county will eliminate “numerous, numerous” telephone lines, he said. That is expected to save between $100,000 and $200,000 annually.

In a related matter, Jeffrey Mando, county chief information officer, told the commissioners the $2.7 million wireless network is now live “and performing as planned.”

During the initial rollout, 26 remote county government sites were connected to the network, he said.

Two Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce business incubators – TekRidge Center in Jessup and Scranton Enterprise Center in downtown Scranton – have been added to the network, as has Lakeland School District, he said.

The commissioners also:

– Approved the sale of 18.3 acres of county-owned land off Lehigh Road in Covington Twp. to PPL Electric Utilities for $85,000. The utility needs the land, which the county acquired in 2007, for construction of a transmission line, solicitor Don Frederickson said.

– Entered a new agreement with current provider InfoCon Corp., Ebensburg, for the printing and processing of jury summonses for the county court. Court administrator Ron Mackay said while some of InfoCon’s fees have increased, the agreement is expected to save about $1,500.

– Awarded a contract $8,149 contract to low bidder All Quality Aluminum Foundry, Smoketown, for grave markers for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

– OK’d six County Re-invest Program grants: Abington Area Joint Recreation Board, $30,000 for park improvements; North Scranton Little League, $20,000 for outfield fence replacement; Weston Park Senior League, $12,600 for facility improvements; Marley’s Mission, $15,000 for construction of a hay storage building; Dunmore Missy League, $20,000 for construction of an indoor practice facility, and city of Scranton, $10,000 for playground equipment at Fellows Park.

– Ratified an agreement to use the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill reporting line as the backup system for county jail inmates to report allegations of sexual abuse.

– Adopted a resolution formally granting Peach Hill Development LLC an abatement on $167,917 in delinquent county taxes on the former Carbondale Nursing Home property on North Main Street in Carbondale. The commissioners had previously approved a motion to grant the abatement.

– Proclaimed today as the 11th annual “C.A.S.U.A.L. Day” for colon cancer awareness in the county.

– Presented a “Good Works in Lackawanna County” certificate of recognition to Serving Seniors Inc.

The county salary board:

– Approved salary increases for eligible correctional officers at the jail based on years of service as required under the collective bargaining agreement.

– Adjusted the salaries of two law clerks in Judge Margaret Moyle’s office to $35,348 annually, which is in line with salaries of other judges’ clerks.

– Increased the hourly pay for part-time positions at the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour and the Electric City Trolley Museum by $1. In most cases, the rate went from $8 to $9 an hour.

– Increased the annual salaries for six positions in the district attorney’s office by $700 each. District Attorney Andy Jarbola said all the salaries are covered by grants and the increases were included in 2014 budget.

– Approved three promotions and abolished one position as part of restructuring of the Adult Probation Office. The changes will result in a net savings of $12,408, director William McCarthy said.

– Created a new housing rehabilitation specialist position in the Department of Economic Development at a salary of $29,000; the position of transportation technician at a salary of $25,500 was abolished.

– Abolished two positions in the Domestic Relations Office – domestic relations officer and clerk typist – for a salary savings of $87,047.

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