Press-Republican

Friday

March 7, 2014

Essex County radio system nears finish

ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County will pay an additional $68,900 for installation of emergency power supplies and other equipment at some of its mountaintop transmitters for a new public-safety radio system.

The power supplies and transfer switches will be put in by Mountain Lake Electrical of Plattsburgh on sites at Wells Hill in Lewis, Mount Pisgah in Saranac Lake and Terry Mountain in Peru.

LEASES ABSORBED

Terry Mountain will also get electric meters and Internet-based monitoring for its tenants, which include commercial radio stations, businesses and government agencies.

The site on Terry Mountain had been owned by WPTZ TV 5 of Plattsburgh, but it sold everything to the county a couple of years ago when the television transmitter was moved to Mount Mansfield in Vermont.

County Manager Daniel Palmer told the County Board of Supervisors recently that the Terry Mountain antenna leases transferred to Essex County with the sale and that electric meters were being installed so each tenant can pay for the power being used.

COVERING COSTS

Previously, the cost of electricity was factored into the leases.

“We absorbed those leases from WPTZ when we acquired Terry Mountain,” Palmer said.

Supervisor Roby Politi (R-North Elba) said the tenants should bear the costs for the meters.

“When we install a meter of this type, we shouldn’t end up having to pay for it. I didn’t realize we inherited all of the existing leases.

“Going forward, if those tenants want to stay on that tower, they play our game.”

County Emergency Services Director Donald Jaquish said new leases will be adjusted to cover the cost of the meters.

“Some of the leases are up this year. We are indeed going to build in the cost for the installation of the meters.”

The Internet-based electric meters will feed to their computer system and can be monitored in real-time, he said.

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