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Old Bookmobile may become tri-county communications hub

Public Safety Committee chairman Randy Preston listens as Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish talks about turning the former Bookmobile into a mobile communications headquarters.

Public Safety Committee chairman Randy Preston listens as Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish talks about turning the former Bookmobile into a mobile communications headquarters.

— North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi wondered why there was a need for a mobile communications center.

“I thought that the purpose of spending $10 million on a communications system was so we would be able to communicate throughout the county,” Politi said. “Are you telling me that we will still not be able to communicate with some people once it is done?”

“There are departments that our communications system would not work with in some situations because their systems are different,” Jaquish said. “You have to program the systems in order to get them to work together and that can take time.”

Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley said that she felt it would be useful in some situations.

“I just think about the situation that we had here with the crash on the Northway where several people died and there was no communications there,” she said.

Board chairman Randy Douglas said that he would go along with the recommendation, but said other agencies have similar vehicles in emergency situations.

“FEMA came in with one of these rigs like this and parked it right next to our office,” Douglas said. “It is something that they use for any large-scale event.”

“When the bridge went out SEMO had a big vehicle there and the State Police also had one,” Scozzafava added.

“This would be used for any large-scale event where multiple agencies are involved and separate radio systems are used,” Jaquish said. “It would usually be a long-term event, something where it would be needed over several days.”

Scozzafava felt that there also was another option for the vehicle.

“I think that the library committee should sell it as surplus and use that money toward their needs,” he said. “I would move a resolution to do away with any covenant that they have with the county so they can do what they please with the bus.”

The motion passed through committee, 5-2, and will now go before the Ways and Means Committee June 25.

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