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Berne approves emergency communications tower

Jul 30, 2016 12:03 am
Tim Tulloch in The Altamont Enterprise reports that the Berne planning board voted 3-to-1 recently to approve the Albany County Sheriff Department’s plan to add a latticed-metal, free-standing communications tower on U’hai mountain. Planning board chairman Richard Rapp and Michael Vincent and Debra Bajouwa voted for the tower, with Todd Schwendeman voting against and Gerard Larghe absent. Many residents though, at a June 16 public hearing, objected to the tower spoiling the view, though many firefighters and EMS volunteers spoke in favor of the placement. The U’hai tower is one of 13 put in across Albany County, as the county moves, "from a Very High Frequency system to a trunked 800 megahertz two-way radio system that enables computer-controlled assignment of open channels to users." The tower won't help the area's spotty cell service, as a Verizon antenna is currently mounted on a church steeple in Berne. Read the full story in The Altamont Enterprise.