Local News

May 11, 2009

Firefighters want spot on new cell tower

DUANE — Fire officials in this rural edge of the Adirondack Park are looking forward to improved communications systems.

Gil Paddock, assistant fire chief and president of the Duane Volunteer Fire Co., said they’ve reached an agreement with Verizon Wireless to co-locate emergency communications equipment on a new cellular-telephone tower proposed behind the fire station on Route 26. The site is not far from Studley Hill Road.


Verizon would lease land from the fire department for $1,000 per month, Paddock said.

“We need to be able to have communication for our firemen. It’s a 14-member department. It’s crucial we have communications. Electrical power, phone lines, they’re all there at the fire station. The only trees they’re going to have to cut are a couple small balsams and a birch.”

The application for a tower 120 feet tall has been filed with the Adirondack Park Agency, he said.


Co-locating the fire company’s radio equipment on it would greatly improve emergency communications in a mountainous, heavily traveled vacation area, laced with waterways.

Campsites alone account for nearly 2,000 additional people in summer.

It would provide communication on the main travel corridor between Malone and Saranac Lake.

“It is expected that the tower will provide service from where it is now lost on Route 30, near the Malone-Duane town line, to the Lake Meacham//Barnum Pond area north of Paul Smiths in the Town of Harrietstown,” Paddock said.

“A new tower was recently approved by the APA to be erected at Paul Smith’s College. It is anticipated the addition of the towers in Duane and Paul Smiths should provide continued and seamless cell-phone coverage along Route 30 from Malone through the Paul Smiths area.”


The site was proposed nearly two years ago when Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) convened a special cell-tower meeting in Saranac Lake, encouraging local officials to submit possible locations for towers in hamlets and on existing tall structures.

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