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September 24, 2018
Delaware County Department of Emergency Services, (607) 832-5600
NYC DEP,, (845) 334-7868

Delaware County and NYC DEP Collaborate on Location Agreement for New Communications Tower in Tompkins

New tower near Cannonsville Reservoir is part of countywide upgrade to emergency communications network

The Delaware County Department of Emergency Services and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced an agreement that will help to improve emergency communications throughout Delaware County by constructing a new tower on city-owned property near Cannonsville Reservoir.

DEP issued a land-use permit to Delaware County in August, allowing the county to construct the tower on property the City has owned since Cannonsville Reservoir was built in the 1960s. The new communications infrastructure will be located on Tower Lane in the Town of Tompkins, about 500 feet south of the existing fire tower. The project is part of a county-wide effort to upgrade and expand its communications network.

“Delaware County is extremely happy it was able to partner with NYC DEP in order to erect this tower,” said Steve Hood, director of the Delaware County Department of Emergency Services. “This is a vital location in the county where existing emergency communications for first responders are very sparse.”

On behalf of Delaware County, I am pleased to have worked with NYC DEP to secure this tower site in the Town of Tompkins,” Delaware County Board of Supervisors Chairman Tina Molé said. “This will greatly improve our communications with emergency services and enhance public safety for our residents.

“DEP is proud of its partnership with Delaware County and other watershed communities, especially for projects that improve vital components of our public safety infrastructure,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “The expanded radio network in this part of the Catskills will also improve communications between local responders and our DEP Police, who work around the clock to protect our reservoirs, dams and other water supply infrastructure.”

Construction at the site began this month as Delaware County began work to improve and extend an existing driveway on the property. The 180-foot-tall tower and protective fencing will be completed by the end of fall. The tower, radio components and site work at this location will cost about $750,000.

The work in Tompkins is part of a broader effort to upgrade the county’s emergency communications network by more than doubling the number of towers from seven to 15. The upgrades have been paid for by the county and $6 million in grants from NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. Total cost for the new system will be approximately $12 million. Towers in Andes, Downsville, Fishes Eddy, Margaretville and Tompkins will be completed this fall. Other towers which are already built are in Stamford, Davenport (2), Delhi, Grand Gorge, Franklin, Sidney, Walton, Roscoe, and Hancock. The county expects the full network of new towers to be operable by spring 2019.

The expanded network will fill gaps in radio communications that prevented police, firefighters and other emergency personnel from reaching Delaware County’s 911 center. In particular, the new tower in Tompkins will greatly increase radio coverage around Cannonsville Reservoir, along with valleys heading toward Hancock and Trout Creek.

Each tower is also designed to hold extra equipment for other government agencies such as police departments, highway departments and others. Their equipment may be added to the towers at no cost.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600