December 14, 2012

APA OKs Essex County communication system


Essex County will replace existing microwave dishes on a fire tower at Gore Mountain.

The same type of dish replacement will take place at Black Mountain.

And State Police updated their state-land Unit Management Plan to incorporate emergency equipment updates on microwave towers behind their Ray Brook headquarters.

In similar fashion, Essex County’s equipment on the Public Safety Building in Lewis will be improved with the new system’s installation.

Other sites include replacing existing equipment on Mount Defiance in Ticonderoga; Mount Morris in Tupper Lake; Mount Pisgah in Saranac Lake; Wells Hill in Lewis; Saddle Hill in Lewis; Angier Hill in Westport; inside the Observatory on Whiteface summit; on Blue Mountain in Blue Mountain Lake; and at Terry Mountain in the Town of Peru. 


The Terry Mountain tower, at about 890 feet tall, was built before the APA was formed, Walrath said.

Essex County purchased that tower, he told the commissioners, and will lease slots on the telecommunication structure to recoup costs.

Originally built for a radio station, the tower in Peru will be lowered to about 690 feet tall as it sits just at the border of the Adirondack Park.

Commissioners understood that most work will either replace current equipment or improve the tower sites and asked very few questions about proposed updates.


Walrath said APA included conditions in four of the permits anticipating federal protection of a rare songbird.

Federal wildlife officials are looking to add Bicknell’s thrush to the endangered-species list, so APA looked carefully at four sites that are potential habitat: Mt. Morris, Little Whiteface, Gore Mountain and Blue Mountain.

No vegetative clearing is planned at these sites, Walrath said.

“We found that the project wasn’t going to have an impact except during construction,” he told the board.

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