Emergency operations will upgrade its GPS system for public safety and service at nine of its towers.

The Harford County Board of Estimates approved the contract of $444,855 to Motorola, of Schaumburg, Ill., at a meeting Thursday morning.

The upgraded system is "critical," Mitch Vocke, with emergency operations, said, and allows all 10 sites to coordinate voice transmission between towers.

The system at the Stoney Forest location was in need of immediate repair in the last two weeks and an emergency purchase order was issued. Vocke said parts are on the way.

The Abingdon site, which was constructed two or three years ago, he continued, is already equipped with the upgraded system.

During a maintenance check on the systems, technicians advised the units are at the end of their useful life and replacement parts for the systems are no longer available.

The approved contract includes the emergency purchase order and Motorola will cover the maintenance under a separate and already approved contract.

Electrical work

Power Distribution Inc., of Jarrettsville, and BoMark Electric Inc., of Owings Mills, will provide electrical work for Harford County Government facilities throughout the county on an as-needed basis.

The contract not to exceed $300,000 is for one year with two additional one-year options. Power Distribution will serve as the primary vendor and BoMark as the secondary vendor.

Work will include, but is not limited to, wiring, rewiring, installation, repair and maintenance.

Tim Myers, chief of facilities and operations, explained to the board the county doesn't have the licensed electricians on staff to provide the type of work in the contract.

Debbie Henderson, director of procurement, added there is about $175,000 worth of work anticipated for the coming year and $100,000 for water and sewer services. Myers added the figured was rounded up in hopes of not needing to use all the money allotted and not needing to come back before the board.

Board member Warren Hamilton asked how projects would be awarded between the two companies.

Anything less than $6,000 will go to the primary contract, Power Distribution, Myers said, as they had the lower per hour rate at $53. Anything more than that amount will be bid out between the two.

Water facility maintenance

The board also approved a contract not to exceed $400,000 to DSI Inc., of Baltimore, and American Contracting and Environmental Services Inc., of Laurel, for required repair and maintenance services at all county water and wastewater facilities.

The contract is for one year with two additional one-year options and requires the contracts to provide all labor, materials, supplies, tools and equipment for each project.

Five bids were received for the contract and after being scored by a committee on cost, examples of work and resources, DSI and American came in with the highest scores.

Jim Hynes, maintenance superintendent of the Sod Run wastewater treatment plant, said the contract amount was based off the average from the last three years because projects can overlap from year to year. Basically, the department knows about how much money will be spent that year and the contract was cushioned "a bit" so the board wouldn't need to approve another contract.