Essex County Board of Supervisors
Essex County may use their own manpower to install mobile radios for fire department as part of the new countywide radio system.
During the Feb. 25 Ways and Means Committee meeting, the board passed a resolution to bid for installation and programming of all mobile radios throughout the county-wide radio system.
During the discussion, Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said he had talked with DPW head Anthony LaVigne about county employees doing the installation.
“I know that your people have the ability to do this because they have done it before,” LaVigne said. “It could be a revenue grantor for the county.”
“My initial thoughts are how much time will it take to put those in and how much will that affect our time dealing with other maintenance that we already do,” LaVigne said. “Estimating about a day to put each radio in so you are looking at a lot of time. We can do it. You still have to have the contractor come in to program the radios, which may be a coordination issue as well.”
Also during the Ways and Means meeting, the board moved a resolution to the full board to bond for up to $4,345,000 for bridge construction.
Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston was the lone vote against the measure.
“We do not have any figures and I cannot support something that will be 3 or 4 percent on the tax levy,” Preston said. “It hasn't been explained to me that we have that many bridges all red flagged at once.”
“I understand but two or three red flags on bridges can end up costing us a lot more then this bond is going to cost us,” County Manager Daniel Palmer said.
Scozzafava said that red flagged bridges were a concern.
“All you need to do is live within a town that has been without bridges for a while,” Scozzafava said. “We have major county highways that a falling apart because he has not had the money to do the work. I do not want to borrow money any more than anyone else but. Have a responsibility to maintain these roads.”
Palmer said that bridges were an ideal project to go out for bonding.
“If anything is going to be bonded, it probably should be bridges,” he said. “The life of a bridge is 75 years. It spreads the cost out among the users over the useful life of the bridge.”
Chesterfield Supervisor Gerald Morrow said he felt the county needed to start investing more in infrastructure.
“The reason that the budget is like this is because we keep putting items like this off,” Morrow said. “We have some bad roads in Essex County and they do not last as long as these bridges will. Tony said that he could use money from other places for these bridges but if he did then something else would have to suffer.”