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More time sought to complete communication tower

LITTLE VALLEY – First, it was the use of seasonal roads limiting access to a tower site. Now, more problems have cropped up to force the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office to ask for more time to finish off new communication tower.

As the Sheriff’s Office transitions to the narrowband communication network, both soil issues and frost issues on a seasonal road in the Randolph area have made it necessary to change the contract with Motorola, asking for more time and the transfer of funds to make the system work.

“The first issue, the additional cost, is not asking for more money,” Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Butler said. “It’s money that we had in contingency.” He said the sheriff expected problems at the Oldro site.

A total of $44,139 is needed to finish the project.

Another issue that has surfaced involves the grounding of the tower at the Oldro site in the Randolph area. According to Butler, the work that started in late winter failed initial grounding for the communication tower.

Motorola wanted to wait until spring and let the soil settle, Butler said. “It still failed. I am told it is failing because of the shale condition with the rock and the ground,” he said.

As a result, the project deadline will also need to be adjusted, Butler told the members of the County Legislature’s Public Safety Committee.

“We have a tower in Allegany State Park that is an apples-to-apples replacement,” he said. “We have to have that tower to make the whole system work. It is a 110-foot tower that we need to hang a dish off of to make the system work. Once we get through the bureaucracy, we should have this done in a month’s time.”

Butler said he thinks the project should be completed well before the deadline that has been asked for, but he has requested that the June 30 deadline be pushed to Dec. 31.

“We should be able to wrap it up soon, but then we have acceptance testing of the grid to go through, and that takes about a month,” he said.

“I didn’t want to put a date of Oct. 1 on the project and something happen and have to come back to ask for more time. I would rather plan for the worst and hope for the best.”