Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 21, 2013

County radio project towers come up short; may cost an additional $330K


Niagara Gazette — "We know there are surprises along the way, that's construction, but some of these changes are disturbing," Godfrey said.

The construction changes likely will cause a delay in unveiling of the new communication system, the officials said. The system was supposed to be operational by the end of this year, while the county still has a one-year FCC waiver on narrowbanding compliance. Another waiver can be sought, Glatz said.

Motorola won the county's emergency radio upgrade business in December 2011, after months of informal, then formal, bidding that pitted it against Rochester-based Harris Corporation. The competing vendors offered different systems, both originally priced around $20 million. Kimball worked with the vendors to tweak their plans and cut their prices.

The back-and-forth brought Motorola's "last, best offer" down to $15 million, and Harris' to $12 million, which the Legislature was poised to take — until Motorola cried foul over the county's lack of formal bid specifications, meaning a statement of what, exactly, it wanted built.

In response to a later formal Request For Proposals, Harris again offered its $12 million system and Motorola proposed a $7.3 million system.

Motorola is furnishing new portable radios for all firefighters and police officers in the county, and related equipment, for another $2 million.

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