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A towering resurrection

PLATTSBURGH Reconstruction crews are onsite atop Lyon Mountain rebuilding Mountain Lakes broadcast tower. A late season storm in April caused the 400-foot tower to collapse. Since the loss, Mountain Lake PBS collaborated with various telecommunication partners to reestablish their signal to as many viewers throughout the north-country region as possible. One such partner, WCAX, a CBS affiliate out of Burlington, Vermont, has been carrying Mountain Lakes signal since the collapse. On Monday, Mountain Lake ended its feed to WCAX and began carrying its own signal after installing a temporary, low power transmitter placed at the PBS stations studio offices.

Electronics Research, Inc., also known as ERI, is the engineering company hired to design and rebuild Mountain Lakes broadcast tower. The company, headquartered in Chandler, Indiana, has manufactured state-of-the-art commercial and telecommunications broadcast products since 1943. They design towers that exceed the federal code requirements, including considerations such as the detrimental effects of radial ice accumulation, in conjunction with high wind speed, which is the most prevalent cause of tower failures, as was the case with the collapse of Mountain Lakes tower. The ERI crew was onsite and setup camp last Wednesday.

The resurrection of Mountain Lakes new tower is expected to be completed by early October, and the station is still trying to raise enough funds to cover the cost to rebuild. Even though insurance covers a portion of the towers replacement value, the station is still anticipating hefty extraneous costs. To date, the community supported station has received just over $12,000 from 128 individual donors, but is facing costs of more than $300,000 just for the helicopter rental alone needed to bring materials to and from the remote building site. Mountain Lake PBS is looking for additional funding opportunities to off-set mounting costs.

The station broadcasts educational and informational programming 24 hours a day on analog Channel 57 and digital Channel 38, and is currently viewable on Time-Warner 14 (Tri-Lakes, NY), Time-Warner 10 (Champlain/Chazy, NY), Time-Warner 8 (Malone/Massena/Potsdam, NY), Comcast 7 (Shelburne/Vergennes, VT), Comcast 14 (Burlington, VT), Comcast 8 (St. Albans, VT), Burlington Telecom (Burlington, VT), Videotron 24/46 (Montreal, QC), Videotron 20 (Quebec City, QC), VDN (Montreal, QC), and Translator Channel 25 (Monkton, VT).

Upon the completion of the new tower, the station hopes to hold a celebratory event sometime in October. To learn more, contact Mountain Lake PBS at 1-800-836-5700 or visit their Web site at www.mountainlake.org.

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