Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Nov. 5, 2010

New Emergency Radio Towers Going Up in Oswego County

RADIO TOWER SITE - Local government officials visited the site in Fulton to see where the new emergency communications tower is being built. Front row from left are Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward, Legislator Margaret Kastler, District 1, Legislator Linda Lockwood, District 11, and Legislator Milferd Potter, District 2. Behind them are former county Legislator Clayton Brewer of Fulton, E-911 Program Director Michael Allen, and County Highway Superintendent Kurt Ospelt.

Work has begun on several of the new radio towers that will play a key role in upgrading Oswego County's emergency radio communications system. The county is in the process of developing a new interoperable radio system that can be used by emergency responders to answer calls in all areas of the county, and across county lines. It replaces an obsolete mobile radio system.

Eight new towers are being built, and the existing towers in Oswego, Granby, Hastings, Boylston, Constantia and Redfield are being refurbished, to improve radio coverage throughout the county. The towers range in height from 185 to 350 feet.

The new tower in Fulton is already completed. The City of Fulton deeded a 50- by 50-foot parcel of land to Oswego County for the tower. New towers will also be built in Redfield, Orwell, Sandy Creek, Parish and the Town of Oswego. The entire system will be completed in 16 to 18 months.

"In October the County Legislature approved the purchase of several additional properties to site towers on," said Legislator Linda Lockwood, District 11, chairwoman of the Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee. "The radio sites and network design will have very high reliability and will provide for continuous communications, even in the event of equipment failure, natural or manmade incidents."

The County Highway Department is clearing the sites and building access roads to prepare for construction.

"Wherever possible, we located the towers in areas that would have the least disruption to the surrounding environment," said Michael Allen, E-911 Program Director. "The new system is designed to provide 97 percent coverage for portable radios used by our emergency responders. Some of the towers will have additional capabilities to accommodate rescue operations for other agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard."

When completed, emergency agencies and public utilities across Oswego County will be able to communicate with each other and with their counterparts in Onondaga and Cayuga counties during emergencies. Cortland and Madison counties are also part of the regional program.

The Legislature's Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee oversees the E-911 program and radio communications project. In addition to Legislator Lockwood, the committee includes legislators Kevin Gardner, vice chairman, District 13; Mary Flett, District 17; Margaret Kastler, District 1; John Martino, District 6; Morris Sorbello, District 23; and Amy Tresidder, District 16.

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