Sheriff to acquire 5 new vehicles amidst state-wide shortage of patrol cars

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 January 2022 at 4:17 pm

ALBION — Orleans County Sheriff Chris Bourke was authorized by the County Legislature to pursue leasing five new patrol vehicles and have them up-fitted, at a cost not to exceed $86,000.

There is currently a state-wide shortage of patrol vehicles as well as multiple microchip shortages due manufacturing shutdowns from Covid-19, county legislators said on Wednesday.

In other action, the Legislature:

• Approved an agreement between the Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Public Works where one full-time DPW employee will be assigned to do maintenance at the county jail at a rate not to exceed $84,679 during 2022.

• Authorized the Sheriff’s Office to spend $39,168 for new handguns, $5,247 for ammunition, and $17,244 for the less-than-lethal Tasers.

• Authorized the treasurer to use $188,268 of American Rescue Plan Act funds for payroll in the Public Safety Communication System, Sheriff’s Office and Jail.

• Approved a $12,500 stipend for full-time attorneys in the District Attorney’s Office to bring the pay on par with attorneys in the Public Defender’s Office. A state grant has increased the pay for full-time attorneys for the Public Defender’s Office. The disparity in pay between the two offices was making it difficult to hire full-time attorneys in the District Attorney’s Office, legislators said.

The county will offer the $12,500 stipend in the DA’s Office for as long as the Public Defender’s Office receives the grant from the NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services.

• Appointed County Legislator Fred miller of Albion to the Orleans County Jury Board for a two-year term.

• Appointed County Legislator Skip Draper of Medina for a two-year term as a trustee representing Orleans County on the 8th Judicial District Law Library Board of Trustees.

• Authorized the Health Department to spend up to $100,000 for an anti-rabies vaccine for post-exposure treatment for Orleans County residents.

• Appointed County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson to a two-year term on the Genesee Transportation Council Board and John Papponetti, the County DPW superintendent, to serve as an alternative. Papponetti also was appointed to serve on the GTC Planning Committee.

• The following were appointed to three-year terms on the Orleans County Planning Board: Bruce Kirby representing Gaines, Chris Watt as alternate for Gaines, Mylynda Kuba representing Holley, and Monica Seeler as Holley alternate.

• Reappointed the following to the Oak Orchard Watershed Board: County Legislator Ed Morgan who is chairman of the Soil and Water Conservation District Board, Guy Smith of Albion, Peter Smith of Albion and Jon Peglow of Barre.

• Reappointed the following to the Orleans County Board of Ethics: Julie Christensen, retired Kendall school district superintendent; Russ Martino, retired Yates town supervisor and Lyndonville principal, and John DeFilipps, retired county legislator.

• Appointed county legislators Bill Eick of Shelby and Fred Miller of Albion to two-year terms on the Local Development Corporation Board.

• Authorized the Health Department to spend $130,880 to make an emergency purchase of KN95 masks and iHealth OTC test kits from Vizocom in El Cajon, Calif. The department will coordinate with local school districts on their reopening plans and will include Covid-19 testing. There is no county cost in the purchase.

• Approved spending $17,182 for 26 Panasonic cameras and mounting junction boxes, 10 Ubiquiti POE switches and two level 4 Ubiquiti Enterprise switches. The equipment is needed “to protect Orleans County assets from external threats to safety and security and provide robust connectivity throughout the county,” legislators stated in a resolution.