$5.9 million upgrade to emergency radio system expected to be ready in December

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 November 2020 at 12:10 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Workers from Upstate Tower Inc. last week are shown doing final work and inspections on the new 180-foot-high radio tower by the Orleans County Public Safety Building on Route 31.

This is one of four new radio towers in the county. Upstate Tower also installed two other 180-foot-high towers in Kendall near the school’s bus garage and in Yates on Millers Road near the water tank.

The other tower is 150 feet high near the Holley water tank on Route 237.

Upstate Tower is doing final inspections on the 700/800Mhz L3 Harris P25 Digital Public Safety Radio System. The county received a $5,897,141 million grant from the state for the project, which includes access roads, antennas, microwaves, shelters, standby generators, propane tanks and security fences.

Finger Lakes Communications, a contractor for L3 Harris, will be doing final hookup and system testing from Nov. 30 through Dec. 11, with the final cut-over expected in late December, said Dale Banker, director of the Orleans County Emergency Management Office.

The $6 million upgrade will strengthen communications between multiple jurisdictions and agencies.

“This project will greatly improve radio system coverage for the 1,300 system users and improve public safety for all residents of Orleans County,” Banker said.

The NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provided the nearly $5.9 million grant through the Office of Interoperable Communications. Banker, who serves as 700/800 MHz Radio System Administrator, also credited the support and efforts of the Orleans County Legislature, Orleans County Treasurer’s Office, Emergency Management staff and grant personal, Orleans County DPW, the Orleans County Radio Advisory Board and County Attorney Kathy Bogan.

“I also want to thank the Village of Holley, Kendall School District and Village of Lyndonville for their great partnership and cooperation allowing Orleans County to have ground lease agreements to co-locate our tower sites on their properties,” he said.