Which caused McMahan to express his consternation "at the propensity for the county and the people to be fleeced."
• Also approved by the board was a change order to a contract to complete part of the air conditioning system in the new addition to the Harford County Detention Center.
Cole Nelson, representing the Sheriff's Office, explained there were seven utility rooms in the detention center that did not have air conditioning planned for them in the original design, rooms used mainly for telephone and security equipment.
Temp Air Conditioning Company has a contract to install air conditioning in those rooms, but realized there would be additional materials needed - actually a switch in the type of cable to meet the county code, Nelson said. The addendum of $4,235 approved by the board brings the total amount of the contract to $70,930.
Hamilton asked if the architect on the detention center addition would be giving the county some sort of rebate for leaving out the AC in the seven rooms. Nelson replied that company "has not been paid yet."
The board also approved an installation and maintenance contract with Wireless Communications of Baltimore to handle set-up and installation of mobile radios in county vehicles. The hourly rate is $130.75 during normal business hours and $176.95 for after hours and holidays. The annual amount of the contract is not to exceed $200,000.
Mitch Vocke, manager of technology for the Harford County Division of Emergency Operations, explained that most of the work involves installing new mobile radios in fire and EMS equipment and then taking the old radios and installing them in county service vehicles, which will have those sets reprogrammed to the 700 megahertz system. Vocke said the typical cost runs about $300 per vehicle and explained the county had spent about $300,000 under the same contract last year when more installations were done.
The contractor is a sole source supplier, so the deal wasn't bid. Wireless Communications is an authorized subcontractor designated by Motorola, which built the county's radios and owns the software used to operate them.
Hamilton asked if there was only one certified vendor and was told by Vocke the county is at Motorola's mercy because its equipment and software are proprietary.
"That's a pretty good hourly rate...that's a ton of money," Hamilton said.
Craig said the county could always go back to "soup cans and string," which caused Hamilton to complain that Motorola "is like BGE, the only game in town."