By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item
SUNBURY — The Northumberland County commissioners will hold a special meeting at 11 a.m. today to consider awarding a contract for the much-discussed countywide radio communications system.
In May, Commissioner Vinny Clausi announced the county would save money because leaders decided to wait on the project and said the original price tag of $11.5 million was too much to spend. Clausi then announced in June the price was going to be about $5 million less.
The $7.2 million contract the board will consider today is with Motorola Solutions, of Maryland. It would include all county radios and equipment.
The county entered into a contract in November with Mission Critical Partners, of State College, for about $450,000 for consulting services, and Clausi said he believes the company did a good job.
“They know what they are doing, and I am confident in what they provided us,” Clausi said. “They will be with us until the end of the project, and I feel they did a great job for us.”
The big question is what will be done in the northern end of the county, where it has been made known by members of the Milton and Warrior Run fire departments that they want to continue using 911 services provided by Union County.
Clausi has said Union County officials are trying to get $150,000 a year for providing services in the Milton, Watsontown and Turbotville areas.
That figure was denied by the Union County commissioners, who sent a letter to the Northumberland County leaders earlier this month requesting a meeting.
Mandated by the federal government to make 911 upgrades, Northumberland County officials must decide either to buy a new system that will cover the entire county or continue to pay Union County for services in the northern end.
Northumberland County pays Union County $60,000 per year for 911 dispatching services and receives $40,000 a year through service fees on the use of land-line phones.
Clausi said Union County officials, during a February meeting, made a proposal to increase the fee to $200,000 a year. The Union County commissioners said they have repeatedly offered to settle for $100,000 to $110,000.
No decision on what will happen with the northern end will be made today, and Clausi said he made a promise to fire company officials to meet with them first.
“I said I was going to have a meeting to listen to the people from the northern end, and I will do that,” he said. “I will do what is best for the whole county, and nothing will be decided until we meet with those people and hear what they are saying.”
Today’s meeting will be in the Northumberland County Administration Building.