Town & Public Safety Communications System Project Update

public safety communications system project
Town & Public Safety Communications System Project Update
January 21, 2020 – The Town continues work on its project to replace its existing conventional analog public safety communication system with a 700 MHz communication system meeting the Project25 (P25) standard.
Until recently, staff was working with the Town’s consultant, Federal Engineering, and its selected vendor, Motorola to acquire the permits and land use approvals necessary to implement the Town’s preferred solution which relied on two existing sites: one on Avon Mountain and the other off Kingswood Drive, on a property owned by the CT Water Company located just over the town line in Canton. Under this preferred system design, to achieve the Town’s desired coverage specifications, particularly on the west side of town where in-building coverage is often sparse, a taller communications structure (170 feet) was required at the Kingswood site.
Due to the location of the Kingswood site, all permitting applications were subject to the approval of the Town of Canton, where the Town’s zoning regulations limit the height of public safety towers to 70’.  Following discussions with Canton staff, it was recommended that Avon follow a two-step land use permitting process.  The first step was to request a text amendment to the Zoning Regulations to increase the allowable height of public safety communications towers to 170’.  If approved, the next step would have been to request a special permit specific to the site on Kingswood Drive. 
There is an easement agreement in place for the Kingswood site that limits the height of towers on the site. Among other approvals, amendment of the agreement requires approval of both Avon and Canton.  At their January 8th meeting, the Board of Selectmen in Canton decided that no amendment to the easement agreement would be permitted.  The Town of Avon has since withdrawn its text amendment application from consideration.
At this time, staff is working closely with Motorola and Federal Engineering to determine an alternate system design that will achieve the Town’s objectives.  If you have further questions about this project, please contact the Town Manager’s Office at (860) 409-4300.