Lewiston residents have expressed concerns over a fire and police radio tower resulting from a federal radio narrowbanding mandate. As such, Niagara County Legislature Chairman William L. Ross will hold a meeting Wednesday to get answers to the public's questions.
Ross said the community meeting, set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Upper Mountain Fire Co., 839 Moyer Road, will bring county officials involved in the sighting decisions for the radio tower network, including County Manager Jeffrey M. Glatz, to meet with local residents, firefighters and the general public.
"Residents that live near the tower site have expressed concerns and raised questions, and we want to ensure their voices are heard," Ross said after conferring with Upper Mountain Fire Co. leaders to schedule the meeting. "We want to reach solutions that everyone can be confident are the best solutions. At the same time, though, we need to ensure that we take the right proactive steps to protect our first responders, whether they be police and sheriff's deputies, our volunteer firefighters, or EMTs."
Ross said he had been taking note of concerns raised by residents who lived near the planned tower, which was negotiated between county public safety officials, representatives of Upper Mountain Fire Co., and Lewiston's then-supervisor, and wanted to provide a forum to clear up misinformation as well as to ensure the county fire coordinator and community safety committee were taking the appropriate steps to reach reasonable solutions for all parties.
Ross also noted he would take the extra step of dropping off fliers announcing the meeting at homes located near Upper Mountain Fire Co. to ensure residents were informed of Wednesday's meeting.
"There are a number of critical factors here, including the rights of property owners near the tower, the need to have good two-way communications for our first-responders that clears the Niagara Escarpment, and this costly mandate from Washington, D.C., that set all this in motion," Ross said. "In all of that, though, safety is my first concern: the safety of our firefighters, our police and deputies, and of people requiring medical transport, as well as the safety of the families that live near the tower site."