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Squad antenna dispute settled, tower OKed

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The Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad can have its too tall radio antenna tower.

The city Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday voted 4-0 in favor of a variance to allow a 70-foot-radio tower atop its soon to open new building at 1223 Pickering St.

The code allows a maximum height of 48 feet. A higher tower with a 22-foot-high antenna, squad officials say, will ensure better radio communications in its service area.

Board chairman William Flynn, Scott W. Thomas, Bonnie P. Franz and James Amo supported the squad which already violated the city code - unintentionally, its officials said - when it went ahead and installed the tower.

“I think it’s obviously needed in the community,” Mrs. Franz said.

Mr. Amo said the tower’s appearance was fine with him.

“I really don’t think that it looks that bad,” he said.

Rusty Darcy, the squad’s information technology committee co-chairman, said there are plans to install another antenna. But it will be small enough not to require a variance.

The squad plans to finish renovations at its own 1223 Pickering St. site later this month and move there from the current rented headquarters at 101 State St.

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