County locked in with Motorola for new radio system

The Lycoming County commissioners now are locked into the $4.2 million Motorola contract originally approved in late December.

The contract was approved by 2-1 vote with the inclusion of a limited-time option to pull out should the county decide to put the project out to bid or pursue other options.

That time was up as of Jan. 31, said Commissioner Jack McKernan.

The contract, to replace radio systems and equipment, initially was projected to cost about $4.95 million by MCM Consulting Group, county consultant for the radio system overhaul.

Michael McGrady, the group’s president, suggested at the time of voting that the county was unlikely to get a better deal.

Still, the commissioners used the time to consult with “constituents with knowledge of radio systems” and further negotiate.

“We didn’t make a lot of progress on the

actual contract itself, but we were able to get a

savings on future service to the radio system of just over $185,000 over a five-year period,” McKernan said. “They gave us some clarity in a few other areas, but the biggest take-away is the savings on the system maintenance.”

The system maintenance contract is separate from the project scope and totals about $822,917 for five years, or about $164,600 per year, said Matt McDermott, director of administration.

Currently, the county pays $616,679 for a three-year maintenance agreement — about $205,600 per year, McDermott said.

Additional services were included in the agreement, he added.

“Obviously, they needed to adjust their maintenance and service contract requirements,” he said.

The new contract won’t initiate until the commissioners and consultant have declared the system ready for operation, McDermott said.

Commissioner Rick Mirabito, who was the sole “no” vote on the Motorola contract, voiced his concern on the warranty period, which constituents with knowledge on the matter advised is “not what the typical warranty is,” he said.

The warranty lasts 90 days for software and one year for hardware, Mirabito said.

It is recommended, however, to have “at least a year on software and two years on hardware,” he said.

MCM projected the overhaul to cost a total of about $7.4 million.

Included in that scope are two new tower sites, $1 million; five new microwave hops for connectivity, $650,000; MCM’s consulting, engineering, management and other fees, $440,000; and a contingency of about $352,000. Add in Motorola’s $4.2 million contract, and the new projection rests at about $6.7 million.