COOPERSTOWN _ In a late resolution Wednesday night, the Otsego County Board of Representatives approved purchases that will allow the county to begin a project to connect the public safety and county office buildings with fiber optic cable.

By a unanimous vote of those present, representatives opted to purchase: 20,000 feet of three-inch, Schedule 80 conduit from Chemung Supply Corp. for $19,800; 24,000 feet of 1,800-pound pull tape from Net-Tech for $1,260; and 20,000 feet of warning-tracer tape from Net-Tech for $990.60.

Rep. Greg Relic, R-Unadilla, who chairs the county's Public Safety and Legal Affairs Committee, said the prices were close to what had been expected.

Board Chairman James Powers, R-Butternuts, said the purchases will allow the county's Highway Department to begin work on the project soon.

``We don't want to wait until the July meeting to get started on this,'' Powers said.

An overall budget for this project had been estimated at $721,322, but by having county highway workers dig trenches for burying the cable, the outlay may be reduced by about $300,000, county officials said this year.

This leg of fiber optic, tying in businesses along its path, is part of a plan to connect all 911 towers that are part of the county's emergency dispatch system. If the county receives federal stimulus money, the immediate project will become part of a 200-mile-long fiber-optic ring, helping to provide high-speed Internet service for most of the county.

In other business Wednesday night, the board voted to create a position of director of weights and measures as part of the county Planning Department.

Previously, the position had not been part of another department.

The salary for the position will range from $26,379 to $31,159, of which the state will reimburse $4,725.

The county's Administration Committee sponsored the resolution, which was opposed by Rep. Stephen Fournier, R-Milford.

During a discussion of whether the job should be full time or part time, Rep. Betty Anne Schwerd, R-Burlington, a member of the Administration Committee, said the county is far behind on its inspections of weighing and measuring devices.

While the new weights and measures director is trained, county Planning Director Terry Bliss will learn the job's requirements so he can supervise the new employee, she said.

Rep. Katharine Stuligross, D-Oneonta, was absent.

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