Utica installs new radio tower to replace storm-damaged tower

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published March 2, 2021

 A new radio communications tower stands in place at the Utica Police Department and City Hall since the completion of its installation Feb. 24. The new tower, left, replaces the old radio tower, right, which was damaged by a storm last year.

A new radio communications tower stands in place at the Utica Police Department and City Hall since the completion of its installation Feb. 24. The new tower, left, replaces the old radio tower, right, which was damaged by a storm last year.

Photo provided by Utica Police Sgt. Matthew Kaluzny

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Utica completed the installation of a new radio communications tower Feb. 24 to replace the old radio tower that had been damaged by a storm last year.

The new communications tower is located at the Police Department and City Hall where the old radio tower is still located. The tower services the Utica Police Department and Utica Fire Department during emergencies.

Damage done by the storm to the old tower was bad enough to affect the tower’s communications with the dispatch center.

Gus Calandrino, the mayor of Utica, said that the city’s communications system was quite old and the storm was the final straw. The city was able to obtain some grants and utilize insurance claims to cover the cost of the new tower.

“In early July 2020, the city’s aging communication system was badly damaged by a lightning strike. Through a combination of grants and insurance claims of over $425,000, the city of Utica will now be equipped with a state-of-the-art 911 system and brand-new dispatch consoles at no additional cost to the taxpayers,” he said.

The insurance claims and obtaining the grants took many months, but the city was finally able to make it happen.

The concrete base of the radio tower was poured several weeks ago, and the new antenna was mounted Feb. 24.

Sgt. Matthew Kaluzny, of the Utica Police Department, said the new equipment will help make the emergency radio communications better for residents.

“The entire dispatch is being replaced with state-of-the-art equipment that will further enhance public safety for the residents and visitors alike,” said Kaluzny.

The tower was donated to the city by Bill Kedzierski at Universal Truss in Clinton Township. 

“I have passed by that station for years, and knowing that the city of Utica does not have a lot of extra funds due to it being a small community, and the tower that they have was looking pretty shabby, I just wanted to help out by providing one of our towers to ensure that the communications of that Police Department were up to date with the current standards and for the safety of all of Utica's residents,” he said.

Calandrino said the new equipment is expected to be in service and last many years.

“The new radio tower is one of the final pieces needed to complete this long project. This new equipment will serve the residents of Utica for many years. Congratulations to the Utica Police and Fire departments. Job well done,” he said.

Plans to remove the old antenna have not been set in place as of yet.

For more information on the radio tower, call the city of Utica at (586) 739-1600.

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