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Old 08-27-2014, 7:12 PM
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Default Lewis County, NY Plans $10M Upgrade To Communication System

"If something happens - EMS, fire, whatever - you're pretty much on your own when you go in there, and police, if they need more help or fire, you can't get contact to get more help," said Legislator Jerry King (R. - District 10)."

Much needed Communications Upgrade. All I know at this point, is that it is going to a UHF System of some sorts.

Lewis County Plans $10M Upgrade To Communication System | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News
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Old 08-27-2014, 8:22 PM
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Old 08-27-2014, 8:33 PM
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$10 million dollars for a county of only 13,870. This comes out to an initial net cost of around $721 per resident!

Wonder what the yearly operating cost will amount to? 31 percent of the county's population are living under the poverty level.

Lewis County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

Just wondering how they plan to pay for such an expensive system.
Funded by grants...
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Old 08-27-2014, 8:35 PM
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Unbelievably egregious waste.

Two thirds of that county is uninhabited wilderness where there aren't even any roads.
$22k per capita annual income. 14% below the federal poverty level. Are walkie talkies really their biggest problem?
Why praytell,
do they need a "State-of-the-art" ANYTHING?
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Old 08-27-2014, 8:46 PM
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It is state of the art to them. The new radio system is much needed. most fire departments cant talk to each other, let alone to anyone out of the county for mutual aid response. The state is offering the money, might as well take it and run.
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Old 08-27-2014, 9:53 PM
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Remember, any type of public safety comm system will require maintenance. Creating a system out of "one time free money for the county" essentially can be a recipe for disaster. Like the saying, if someone gave you a 777 jetliner for free, could you afford to fly it? Not saying that the County doesn't need to do something, but like anything there are a 101 million ways of doing so. It's the balance between doing what is needed that will be functional and work well for a small county or just flat out going bonkers.

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Old 08-28-2014, 9:11 AM
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It is state of the art to them. The new radio system is much needed. most fire departments cant talk to each other, let alone to anyone out of the county for mutual aid response. The state is offering the money, might as well take it and run.
Can you please explain to me why they are unable to talk to other fire departments and why that is even necessary considering the entire population center of the county is nowhere near the county lines and is in fact surrounded by miles and miles of uninhabited wilderness and lakes, swamps, etc?
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:02 AM
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Can you please explain to me why they are unable to talk to other fire departments and why that is even necessary considering the entire population center of the county is nowhere near the county lines and is in fact surrounded by miles and miles of uninhabited wilderness and lakes, swamps, etc?
The population center would be Lowville, which is also the county seat. There are many villages that boarder the surrounding counties. For Example Port Leyden, West Leyden, Carthage. Natual Bridge, and Copenhagen to name a few. Lewis uses VHF Low band, with aging and broken equipment. Surrounding counties either have VHF Hi, or 400 MHz. 2 years ago, Port Leyden Fire was called out when the mini Microburst took out power lines and trees on the Moose River Road. Old Forge Fire had the upper portion of the road shut off, and Port Leyden had the lower portion. Neither could talk to eachother. cell phones don't work there. And with the power being out, McCauly Radio tower was out. Had to resort to CB radio, as many of the Fire Fighter, have them in their POV's. You cant judge what the county should have based on a bunch of statistics found online. there are many villages and communities throughout Lewis County.
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Old 08-28-2014, 2:38 PM
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The population center would be Lowville, which is also the county seat. There are many villages that boarder the surrounding counties. For Example Port Leyden, West Leyden, Carthage. Natual Bridge, and Copenhagen to name a few. Lewis uses VHF Low band, with aging and broken equipment. Surrounding counties either have VHF Hi, or 400 MHz. 2 years ago, Port Leyden Fire was called out when the mini Microburst took out power lines and trees on the Moose River Road. Old Forge Fire had the upper portion of the road shut off, and Port Leyden had the lower portion. Neither could talk to eachother. cell phones don't work there. And with the power being out, McCauly Radio tower was out. Had to resort to CB radio, as many of the Fire Fighter, have them in their POV's. You cant judge what the county should have based on a bunch of statistics found online. there are many villages and communities throughout Lewis County.
OK that makes perfect sense however do you see that there is a solution for interoperability somewhere in between CB radios and $10 million dollars?
I'm just saying, when talking about literally "villages", A $10 million dollar solution is probably excessive, wouldn't you agree?

Furthermore, if neighboring counties are going to break with tradition and go to some other band, why then, should the burden be placed on everyone else to catch up to them? Obviously they don't wish to interoperate because if they did, they'd stay in the same band as everyone else.
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Old 08-28-2014, 3:04 PM
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The assistance to firefighters grant was only for $2.5 million, not the full 11.1 million the county allocated out of their general fund to this expensive project.

I'm sorry but a county with fewer residents than the little toilet town I live in outside Metro Atlanta spending over 11 million dollars on a radio system seems steep. The county's total budget:

http://lewiscountyny.org/content/Gen.../File/2397.pdf

The real question, which is often hidden, is what the yearly operating cost of such large, complex and expensive systems are for small governments like this. Darryl Jones summed it up very well:

When the digital trunked radio bubble bursts... | Daryl Jones' Weblog

Grant money is great, but it doesn't flow forever and once you buy a complex solution, you are married to it and the high operating costs for a decade or more.

Can the taxpayers really afford this when there are much smaller scale, less expensive options that aren't often considered?
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Old 08-28-2014, 4:38 PM
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UHF Trunking ,4 years down the road.....looking at the Pending FCC apps....yup UHF......
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Old 08-28-2014, 6:17 PM
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Grant money is great, but it doesn't flow forever and once you buy a complex solution, you are married to it and the high operating costs for a decade or more.
If they're just now upgrading from a low band base/mobile radio system that doesn't work, can you imagine the struggle when their race-to-waste DTRS is no longer supported? Where's the next grant going to come from? Unless we have another 9-11, I don't see where. How stupid does one have to be to make such a horrendous, costly mistake?! How are they going to raise taxes on 27k people that don't make hardly peanuts to begin with.
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Old 08-29-2014, 1:28 AM
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So far, to my knowledge, this will be part of the Central New York Interoperable Communications Consortium UHF System.
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Old 08-29-2014, 1:08 PM
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Salespeople undoubtedly follow the grant money around. If the big cities lack the expertise to see through the sales babble, then where (or why) do you expect such knowledge to reside in a rural county?
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Old 08-29-2014, 6:21 PM
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Salespeople undoubtedly follow the grant money around. If the big cities lack the expertise to see through the sales babble, then where (or why) do you expect such knowledge to reside in a rural county?
LOL yeah. Why expect that any municipal body be run by competent individuals that are proficient at speaking words and operating a 4 function calculator?
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Old 08-30-2014, 5:30 PM
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I noticed many places utilizing conventional 700, vhf and don't have a problem. With the quantity of zones allowed and capable I don't see why everyone needs to be trunked. It's costs too much over time with maintenance. Look at the article about Baldwin. Wanting others to help float the cost. Every county around me operates vhf and everyone has an others band plan and interop setup. Then 2 odd ball counties followed a opposite city in another state and went edacs. Now to phase 2 soon it looks. Telling admins you really must be interop with us. Nobody else looking to go to phase 2 or can't afford it or sees the cost down road. Not one problem utilizing vhf and having everyone in there own zone on another's radios and the vtacs in its own. Even the towns the same size as one who went edacs don't have a issue using vhf conventional. It's a bigger county and larger population. No problems. Race to waste indeed by others and makes me wonder if salesmen tell them if you get Bob and Dillan convinced to be on we can lower your cost and they can pick up the tab for you. Majority bought tons and tons of xts xtl equipment in long haul term use. Parts etc. They all agreed besides the two knuckle head counties you must need phase 2 and trunking it's latest snd will last. Ummm yeah until phase 3 and 5 come out then what. Allot of folks in decision making need to realize p25 is a ever changing standard and will always change. It's a marketing gimmick. They'll continue to use fancy words and talk to convince Bob to log on then tell Harry well Bob's on type 500 but we just came out with the mega1000 while months later after Harry gets bonus 500 they sell and tell Dave hey we just came out with 2000SUX. If you convince Bob to re upgrade he can cover many of your costs and we will throw in a bonus for you. Plus you will be all interop again. But they don't tell them while they do that loop there already selling new improved bone head 6000 systems to harry.
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Old 08-31-2014, 6:44 PM
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Just an aside, I've decided that "grant money" is almost indistinguishable from what a lit of people call welfare. And I AM familiar with Lewis county (and St. Lawrence next door) - Rural barely begins to describe it.
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Old 08-31-2014, 8:23 PM
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I noticed many places utilizing conventional 700, vhf and don't have a problem. With the quantity of zones allowed and capable I don't see why everyone needs to be trunked. It's costs too much over time with maintenance. Look at the article about Baldwin. Wanting others to help float the cost. Every county around me operates vhf and everyone has an others band plan and interop setup. Then 2 odd ball counties followed a opposite city in another state and went edacs. Now to phase 2 soon it looks. Telling admins you really must be interop with us. Nobody else looking to go to phase 2 or can't afford it or sees the cost down road. Not one problem utilizing vhf and having everyone in there own zone on another's radios and the vtacs in its own. Even the towns the same size as one who went edacs don't have a issue using vhf conventional. It's a bigger county and larger population. No problems. Race to waste indeed by others and makes me wonder if salesmen tell them if you get Bob and Dillan convinced to be on we can lower your cost and they can pick up the tab for you. Majority bought tons and tons of xts xtl equipment in long haul term use. Parts etc. They all agreed besides the two knuckle head counties you must need phase 2 and trunking it's latest snd will last. Ummm yeah until phase 3 and 5 come out then what. Allot of folks in decision making need to realize p25 is a ever changing standard and will always change. It's a marketing gimmick. They'll continue to use fancy words and talk to convince Bob to log on then tell Harry well Bob's on type 500 but we just came out with the mega1000 while months later after Harry gets bonus 500 they sell and tell Dave hey we just came out with 2000SUX. If you convince Bob to re upgrade he can cover many of your costs and we will throw in a bonus for you. Plus you will be all interop again. But they don't tell them while they do that loop there already selling new improved bone head 6000 systems to harry.
+1 Well said. Agree 100%

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Just an aside, I've decided that "grant money" is almost indistinguishable from what a lit of people call welfare. And I AM familiar with Lewis county (and St. Lawrence next door) - Rural barely begins to describe it.
Also on point. It's welfare alright. Welfare for Motorola Solutions.
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