Attorney: County already has construction management contract

ELIZABETHTOWN – Essex County already has a contract with a Virginia-based consulting and engineering firm to oversee a $17 million overhaul of the county’s public safety radio system.

Last week, the county’s Ways and Means Committee voted to accept a quotation from Federal Engineering for construction management services totaling $138,488. At Monday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, county Attorney Dan Manning clarified that a contract with the firm already exists, and the committee actually voted to accept Federal Engineering’s estimate, not enter into another contract.

“It’s simply an estimate as to what they felt that their construction management costs would be,” he said. “We currently have a contract with them based on times and materials. But (county Manager) Dan (Palmer) wanted an idea of what it might cost. We’re not entering into a contract for $138,488 – it was just their estimate as to what the felt they’d come in at when they conclude their construction management services.”

Manning asked the board to withdraw the prior resolution. Supervisors did so with a unanimous vote.

The radio project is a shared venture by Essex County, New York State Police and New York State Electric and Gas. It includes construction of a new radio and microwave network and will replace an aging communications network that currently covers about 60 percent of the county.