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My Turn

July 13, 2009

My Turn: Otsego County facing many positive changes

This week’s “My turn” column is by James Powers, chairman of the Otsego County Board of Representatives.



Otsego County is moving forward, changing for the better. I am proud of our county government and would like to address several areas where I believe positive change is taking place. Otsego County is involved in several exciting communications projects.



More than $1 million in grant money has been secured from state and federal sources to fund these projects.



Blue Wing has been hired as the county’s communications consultant.



It will conduct a needs analysis and design a new Emergency Services Telecommunications System based on that analysis.



An equipment shelter has already been placed at the Blend Hill tower near the city of Oneonta. Rep. Michael Arcuri has secured $400,000 in federal money to fund a wireless telecommunications link from the city of Oneonta to the Blend Hill tower to connect the city of Oneonta to the county’s ESTS.



The Federal Communications Commission has mandated that the ESTS of the county be upgraded from its present two-gigahertz system. With the cooperation of local government and the grant money from state and local agencies, the ESTS system can and will be upgraded.



The county will be running its own fiberoptic line from 197 Main St. to the Public Safety Building, including Otsego Manor, the Highway Department, and the Meadows.



The county is laying the fiber-optic line itself at a savings of $300,000. This line, when completed, will provide a savings of $60,000 per year in telephone bills. In the future, businesses and the school might be added to the line.



New York state has invested $1.3 million in the county’s annex building to provide court space. We are planning a children’s center for the Family Court located in that building. It will be welcoming, comfortable, secure and close to the court.

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