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Northway cell phones likely in the future

ELIZABETHTOWN Progress is being made on getting cell service for the dead zones along the Adirondack Northway the state budget includes $1 million for cell service along the Northway. Ron Jackson, supervisor of the town of Essex and captain of the Essex Rescue Squad, has been a vocal supporter of getting cell service along the Northway. Jackson said that while the $1 million was not sufficient to perform the project, it might cover the initial survey, testing and preliminary planning. More importantly, he felt the money signaled a shift in Governor Eliot Spitzers position. Earlier Spitzer had turned down a request to install COWS (Cells on Wheels) to serve as a stopgap measure while a more permanent solution is found. The governor is on board perhaps he is listening, said Jackson. Unfortunately, Jackson said, it seemed quite likely that the North Country would spent another winter without complete cell coverage along the Northway. Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward said it was possible that the $1 million in funding might not even be needed. She said that a private company was planning on submitting a plan for the towers. The funding could be used to overcome unexpected problems. Sayward was more optimistic about getting cell service, hoping that there would be action by winter. She said it was likely to be about two years before a permanent solution had been found. A spokesman for Verizon said they are close to submitting a plan that would site nine towers in the 50-mile dead zone from Exit 26 to 32.

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