PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County will get more than $2 million in state funding to improve its emergency communications.

On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced more than $32 million in grants for seven counties.

The money is designed to strengthen communications infrastructure and enhance public safety.

The Statewide Interoperable Communications Targeted Grant Program has awarded $2,334,697 to Clinton County.

Clinton County Emergency Services Director Eric Day called it "welcome news."

NEW TOWER

He said they applied for the grant to help with improvements and upgrades to the county's public-safety systems.

"The county is currently engaged in a multi-million-dollar project to upgrade the 25-year-old 800-mhz trunking system, and funds from this grant will be used to provide additional upgrades, including a new communications tower site, as well as the links that connect the five different primary tower sites in the county," Day said.

IN TOUCH

New base-station radios will also be installed.

"That will improve interoperability with first responders from outside our area who might come to assist during large-scale events, such as (in the past), the Altona Flat Rock fire, the Dannemora escape or the 1998 Ice Storm," Day said.

TIMING

Day said the tower and radios that will be funded by the grant won't likely be installed until late 2019.

"The engineering, permitting, design and construction process has to be undertaken for the tower and the radio systems," he said Thursday.

SPEED ESSENTIAL

The other counties receiving funding are Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Niagara, Orleans and Schenectady.

"In emergency situations, it's critical that first responders have the resources they need to quickly and efficiently respond to calls for help," Cuomo said in a statement.

"This funding will allow counties to continue to upgrade and improve their emergency communications systems and in the process create a stronger, safer New York for all."

Email Lois Clermont:

lclermont@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @EditorLois

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