NORWICH – Chenango County’s board of city and town supervisors learned for the first time Friday morning that their projected $3 million communications construction project could now cost $3.5 million, plus $4.5 million more to lease the antennas.
The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, put in charge of development, construction and administration of the project last year, suggested the higher tower construction price as a more economical way to bid out the project. Lawmakers last year resolved to set aside funds for the first three towers only, in Otselic, Coventry and Norwich.
“DASNY has suggested the we consider bidding construction at all (nine) sites for a better estimate,” Clerk of the Board RC Woodford reported before a meeting of the Finance Committee on May 3.
After two years and $750,000 already paid out for design and environmental review, Woodford said DASNY would require $2,074,000 in hand before bids can be awarded as planned in June.
The revelation appeared to dumbfound committee member Dennis Brown, D-Pharsalia, last week, who said, “The worst part is that we know in 10 years that this thing is going to be so obsolete.”
The communications project, called “the second phase” of the Public Safety Facility building project, calls for replacing 1970s era towers with new towers capable of supporting microwave antennas.
Federal Communication Commission band width changes coming up in 2011 have forced the infrastructure upgrades. “That’s what’s driving this,” said Board Chairman Richard E. Decker, who sat in on the committee’s meeting...