Road improvements throughout Harford to begin in July; yet another IT independent contractor hired

The Harford County Board of Estimates approved several contracts during Thursday's meeting that will bring road improvements throughout the county and a study on the Route 22 corridor.

Three intersections in the county will have work done beginning some time in July: Wheel Road at Route 543, Reckord Road at Route 1 and Aldino Stepney Road at Route 22.

The contract was awarded to Romano Concrete Construction Inc., of Laurel, for $184,990, the lowest bid out of three.

Harford County Council President Billy Boniface asked that when the county undergoes a project such as this, if work is done on any state road portions, as well, or just county roads.

Public Works Director Bob Cooper said it's usually just the county roads.

Gray and Son Inc., of Timonium, was the lowest bidder out of five for the road repair and resurfacing project of Brierhill Estates Drive in Bel Air.

The contract was approved for $1,173,500 and work should begin in July.

Various damaged curbs throughout the county will also be replaced.

The board approved the contract to Frank J. Goettner Construction Company Inc., of Kingsville, for an amount not to exceed $174,000.

"There's a lot of damaged curbs?" County Executive David Craig asked.

"It's not bad," said Tim Dorbit, with DPW, but added it varies throughout the county.

Boniface asked why only one company submitted a bid for the project.

Both Dorbit and Craig answered that because the project is so spread out and is only a few feet of curb in many different places, not many companies wanted to submit proposals.

Procurement Director Debbie Henderson added that Goettner is the only company that has made any bids for similar projects "in the last couple years."

Stafford Road in Darlington will also see some repairs, as well as cold mill recycling and resurfacing.

American Infrastructure, of Fallston, was awarded the contract not to exceed $575,340, and will most likely begin work in July.

An additional origin-destination study, which was recently done on the Route 22 corridor, will be conducted on the adjacent corridors of Route 543 and Route 155.

"A key discovery in the development of the report is the origin-destination study, which took a close look at the percentage of traffic making point to point trips on MD 22 from the Bel Air area to APG," a memo from Alex Rawls, transportation planner for the department of planning and zoning to Henderson read. "The general opinion by the general public is that a high percentage of traffic makes this trek. However by completing the origin-destination study this was found not to be true."

The original study was budgeted for $300,000, but came in under budget.

The remainder of the original contract - $45,856.43 - was awarded to Johnson, Mirmiran and Thompson Inc., of Sparks, who did the original study.

Craig asked if the study would include Prospect Mill Road. The study would just look at state roads, Rawls responded.

"After we're done the study," Warren Hamilton, board member, asked, "what are we going to do with this information?"

Rawls explained that the county is coming up with short-term and long-term plans, including possible intersection improvements.

More independent contractors

Josh Schueler, formerly of The Aegis and The Baltimore Sun IT departments, will be an independent contractor for the county, responsible for managing the implementation of the new recording management system (RMS) in all of the county's volunteer fire companies.

The contract of $70,000 will be for one year, July 1 through June 30, 2013.

"Josh Schueler is unique in that he's the only person in the tri-state area who is certified with the RMS software," said Ted Pibil, information and communication technology director.

Pibil added that Schueler will also train all fire company employees in the system, as well as a few county employees. Schueler is a member of the Whiteford Volunteer Fire Company.

The hope with the system is to fix an issue of record keeping within the fire companies and ensure information is given to the county on a consistent basis.

The board originally approved the contract for RMS in March for $155,370, and a change order was approved in April for a total contract of $289,550 to Alpine Software Corporation, of Pittsford, N.Y.

"There's nobody else who can provide this service?" asked board member Jay Van Deusen.

Pibil explained that the ICT department could put engineers on the project, but they are not familiar with the software or the fire companies.

"There's a level of trust with Mr. Schueler," Henderson added, especially since he was able to bring all of the companies on board with the same system.

"It's unique in that it's never been done before with cooperation between the fire houses and county," Pibil said.

Craig noted that the money would come out of the ICT department's budget.

Nancy Giorno, the county executive's legislative liaison, had her contract extended for another year for $65,000.

Henderson noted that Giorno, who retired as the deputy county attorney, has had a contract with the county for the last three years and "has many years of experience doing this."

The amount is the same she agreed upon for her original contract. When she was a fulltime county employee in the law department, Giorno's salary was $122,429 annually.

Giorno works with members of the Harford County Council on the county's legislative agenda, but she is an employee of the executive branch.

Other contracts

Other contracts approved by the Board of Estimates Thursday include:

Public safety mobile data software will be purchased for $440,582.50 from InterAct Public Safety Systems Inc., of Winston-Salem, N.C.

The software will connect to the Harford County Sheriff's Office existing public safety system.

InterAct will also provide mapping software for the sheriff's office for an amount not to exceed $199,080.

The sheriff's office will purchase 50 replacement desktop computers, video cards and medic card readers as part of its refresh program for $56,955 from EPlus Technology Inc., of Pottstown, Pa.

Docking stations, 150, for mobile data computers for the sheriff's office will be purchased for $93,000 from Major Police Supply, of Kenvil, N.J.

The Harford County Sheriff's Office will also purchase hardware and software to deploy the agency phone system throughout all HCSO locations and the detention center for $188,129.23 from Core BTS Inc., of Madison, Wis.

Three dump truck cab and chassis, as well as one complete dump truck will be bought for a total of $348,088 from Hickory International Inc., of Bel Air.

The trucks will replace existing ones that have out-lived their usefulness.

Several school multi-use courts will be repaired for an amount not to exceed $200,000.

The project, awarded to American Tennis Courts Inc., of Dundalk, will include minor repairs at C. Milton Wright High School, top-coating surfaces at Havre de Grace Middle School and court repairs at Norrisville and Dublin elementary schools.

Frederick Ward and Associates, Bay State Land Services, Brudis and Associates and George William Stephens Jr. and Associates will provide design, surveying and engineering services as required for the parks and recreation department for an amount not to exceed $500,000.

An open-end contract for $73,710 was awarded to ATC Associates Inc., of Columbia, for testing and inspection services during various county capital projects.

The Sod Run Water Treatment Plant will have its existing roof removed and Control Roofing and Sheet Metal Corporation, of Capital Heights, will install a new roof for $101,517.

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