Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

April 22, 2013

Radio project oversights could cost $330k


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Kimball & Associates also advised that the tower at Upper Mountain fire station in Lewiston needs to grow by 50 feet, to 230 feet tall, to avoid signal disruption by power lines; and that the tower at Terry’s Corners fire station in Royalton Center needs to grow by 20 feet, to 200 feet tall, because of a large tree nearby.

“These people drove around the whole county, drove around and drove around, and they didn’t see these things?” Godfrey said. “Some line-of-sight issues may not have been discoverable (during the planning/project bidding process); perhaps the tree and the smokestack weren’t clearly visible when technicians were standing at the sites. ... 

“What we’re being told about the Upper Mountain site, I’m having a difficult time with that. It’s in the middle of the Power Project. How could anyone miss those lines?”

Adding tower height adds significantly to the project cost because the blueprints have to be revised for each affected tower. The taller the tower, the thicker the concrete foundation and stronger the steel base have to be, according to Godfrey.

Kimball & Associates is working with Motorola and the microwave vendor to minimize the height increases, especially on the North Tonawanda tower, he said.

The county’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the project is based on tower heights of no more than 300 feet.

Glatz said he doesn’t think the proposed construction changes would throw the statement into question, but Godfrey isn’t so sure.

As for the cost overruns, officials are questioning whether the county should hold Kimball & Associates and/or Motorola responsible.

Kimball & Associates is overseeing the upgrade project on a two-year, $580,000 contract. Among its duties as project manager, it prepared the bid specifications for the system buildout and scrutinized bids for feasibility.

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