Director of Emergency Services Paul Lent and Hadley Supervisor Jeff Trottier (Chairman of Public Safety) attended a recent County Fire Officers meeting and presented an update on recent County radio system developments. Paul discussed the following using a Power Point presentation which you can view or download by clicking here. The key points of the presentation are: Spruce mountain site requires clean up of existing antennas and development of quarterly preventative maintenance program, proposed taking ownership of an existing 58X70 building and 180 ft tower owned by National Grid to replace present tower. Will need 14 new antennae with 2800 feet of new coax to minimize cutover time, structural capacity of new tower has been checked and proposed loading is okay, some necessary electrical work needed at site has been completed. Existing low and high band paging planned to convert to digital paging system. New CAD system is being installed and tested. Blue Wing continues work with FCC for guidance on the new radio system. A guestimate by Paul is 24 months until changing over to new pager/radio system. Proposed radio system will need 13 towers – new sites and existing sites being investigated include Stillwater old radar base, Willard, Corinth HS, Bald Mountain, and Halfmoon. Our old analog radio system will be replaced with a new microwave system. A user count of 1000 was tabulated for mobile and portable units throughout the County. The new radio system will use 700-800 MHz frequency very close to that used by Nextel with higher gain antennae. Negotiations continue in pursuing necessary APA permits and easements as well as FCC licensing. Inquiries have been received from cellular companies to consider co-lease. Costs for the new radio system are estimated at 11 to 15 million dollars. What’s next: technology test bed with phased implementation to be completed in 24 to 36 months. Remaining issues: microwave system, statewide wireless network, FCC licenses, user input, detailed engineering to be completed. Price of new high band digital pager presently about $450 and is only available from Motorola.