Control room equipment damaged at county public safety building

The Montgomery County Legislature’s Budget and Finance Committee approved $850,000 in serial bonds at Tuesday’s meeting to finance a new control system for the county’s public safety building.

A recent lightning strike disabled equipment that controls the public safety building’s locks and doors , according to County Executive Matthew Ossenfort and Undersheriff Justin Cramer.

“We had a weather situation,” Ossenfort said. “A lightning strike fried some of our surge protectors and wreaked havoc on the system.”

Cramer said the lightning strike “took out the whole room. We had an interesting couple of days.”

Ossenfort said the county has filed an insurance claim, but he is not optimistic.

“Because the stuff is so old, we do not expect a substantial return,” he said.

Cramer said the control system was installed in 1995 and is now obsolete. Furthermore, the company that installed the system is no longer in business.

Even though the Budget and Finance Committee is made up of all nine legislators, the bonding still must be approved at next week’s meeting of the legislature. Bonding resolutions require a two-thirds majority for approval, rather than a simple majority. Therefore six yes votes, not five, will be needed for the bonding to proceed.

Other resolutions approved by the committee and sent to the full legislature for action at next week’s meeting include:

  • Transferring $34,995 from the county’s fund balance to the Mental Health Department to pay for treatment of an individual ordered by the court to undergo treatment in a forensic hospital.
  • Amending the county budget to accept a grant of $8,000 from the William Gundry Broughton Charitable Provate Foundation Inc. The money will be used to pay a consultant to complete a cultural resources survey identifying historic resources in the rural portion of western Montgomery County.
  • Amending the budget to accept $579.23 in forfeiture money from a drug-related case. The money will be used to purchase equipment for various law enforcement agencies in the county.

John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.