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County will evaluate 911 system

SCHUYLER COUNTY—The Schuyler County Legislature voted to approve a contract that will evaluate the current 911-communication system, at their regular meeting Wednesday, Feb. 10.
The legislature approved a contract with Blue Wing Professional Consulting Services to evaluate the current outdated system. They will access the current system and provide the county with information on what steps will need to be taken in order to meet current and future 911-communication needs of the county.
The contract with Blue Wing Professional Consulting Services cannot exceed $30,500. Funding is available in the 2010 budget.
Blue Wing is expected to provide the results of the study to county officials within six months.
This 911-communication system is the lifeline for emergency responders and is essential to public safety including law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical service and public works. The current system is over 30 years old and coverage has been a continued issue with emergency responders covered by 80 percent of the county. By 2013 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will also assign bands for emergency services, which will cause less frequency, and the system will have to accommodate these changes. “This is the end of the useful life of this system,” County Administrator Tim O’Hearn said.
The legislature approved to go forward with grants for the, Schuyler County, District Attorney’s Office, Department of Housing and Community Renewal, Youth Bureau, Social Services, and Office for the Aging.
The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) received a $2,588,465 grant for services and expenses to support and enhance monthly caseworker visits to children in foster care. Schuyler County Department of Social Services was selected to participate in this program. OCFS would like to give social services extra resources including four laptop computers worth $4,247.12, which were purchased with the OCFS grant. This will allow Commissioner of Social Services William J. Weiss to create a memorandum of understanding with the OCFS.
The grant for the department of housing and community renewal will be a Community Development Block Grant Small Cities Program. Schuyler County is eligible for the grant for 2010 and it cannot be more than $250,000. This grant will help Arbor Development Inc. with continuing a housing rehabilitation program for low and moderate-income households. This will now allow Arbor Development Inc. to submit an application to the department of housing and community renewal for their project.
The legislature also approved the authorization to amend the 2010 budget for the Schuyler County Office for the Aging Health Insurance Information, Assistance and Counseling Program (HIICAP). An increase in the base amount and additional money is required based on a performance measure that awarded New York with the second highest performance in the nation and additional funds were distributed. These additional funds will increase the HIICAP grant from $29,901 to $41,471.
The grant for the district attorney’s office will be a New York State Violence Against Women grant. The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services has made this grant available to the district attorney’s office to assist with keeping a designated prosecutor for violence against women. The estimated grant will be $37,855, with a 25 percent county match of $12,618 that is already in the 2010 budget.
The youth bureau grant will provide funding to the Schuyler County United Way for the Family Play & Resource Center program. This program needs help contracting continued program development, oversight and maintenance. This will allow the youth bureau to act as the program’s fiscal agent.
After consideration from the legislature, the village of Montour Falls will purchase a building formerly owned by the Montour Falls Yacht Club for $4,277.62.
Also approved were four lease agreements regarding the shared services building involving Schuyler County, the Schuyler County Watershed Department, the village of Watkins Glen, the Schuyler County Weights and Measures Department, and the Schuyler County Highway Department. Invoices including insurance, utilities and cleaning will be sent to each tenant quarterly.
The next regular meeting of the Schuyler County Legislature will be Monday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m.

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