Technology and Mechanical Devices Highlight Commissioners’ Meeting
By Rick Hiduk
In a more routine than usual Bradford County Commissioner’ meeting on July 14, a number of logistical issues were targeted for improvement as the commissioners approved measures to enhance surveillance at the county prison, make county records more accessible via the internet, to repair downspouts outside the courthouse, and to make maintenance to the chandelier inside the courthouse safer and more efficient.
Commissioners Douglas McLinko, Mark Smith, and John Sullivan voted to authorize chief clerk Gayle Kerschner to advertise for bids for 10 new surveillance cameras at the Bradford County Correctional Facility that will help to alleviate some blind spots, as well as for software that will allow for an external backup of all surveillance footage at both the prison and at Bradford County Manor.
An investment was approved with a database web host called Vision, based in Northboro, MA, that handles the county’s geographical records. The annual fee was noted at $6,500, which includes monthly updates. Smith explained that, while the information is available to residents via the county website, Vision actually provides the service, which requires a subscription fee from users that is expected to offset the cost of the software.
“It went online last week for soft testing,” Smith related. “It looks like it’s going pretty well at this point.” The records, which include data from the county’s assessment office such as square footage and names of property owners, are primarily used by businesses. The subscription fee is $50 per month or $600 per year.
To bolster the efficiency of water testing in areas with heavy drilling activity, the commissioners voted to enter into an agreement with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission to run a data cable at no cost to taxpayers along the bottom of the bridge on Fisk Road in Wilmot Township. Sullivan fielded questions about the cable, which, he explained, will transmit information from a streambed monitor there.
By unanimous decision, the board authorized the approval of an agreement with Larson Design Group to provide professional services for the preparations of bid documents for an electrical hoist system by which the iconic chandelier at the courthouse can be safely lowered and raised for cleaning and to change light bulbs. Sullivan noted that the cast iron light fixture has always been lowered by a manual hoist system once or twice per year, which could potentially become dangerous as the chandelier and the system get older.
Bids will also be solicited for the fabrication and installation of 300 linear feet of new 20-ounce copper flashing for the courthouse roof. According to Smith, maintaining the eaves has been an ongoing project. “We’re constantly addressing it,” he said of the water issues, noting that the courthouse dome received similar attention last year.