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City Council: Alarms, Backhoes, And Memorials

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The City of Cortland’s alarm loop system is probably 100 years old, although no one so far can say for sure.

As you might expect, some of the century-old wires are failing. Is the system still reliable?

“With a lack of maintenance, it becomes a question of whether or not that’s going to be reliably transmitting an alarm when there’s an alarm needing to be transmitted.”

Fire Chief Charles Glover says the red box alarms on city streets that most of the public sees can still save precious time if someone needs help. Pull the box and it goes direct to the fire house and 9-1-1.

“Somebody sees something and doesn’t have a phone or somebody’s in trouble and can pull that and know that somebody’s coming.”

The early notice is important for buildings linked to the loop, but three of the 44 connections don’t work all the time, most likely because of water getting into the old lines.

Years ago, to cut costs, the city closed its public safety office, which maintained the system.

Chief Glover summed up the situation: “The Common Council needs to make a determination as to whether they want to maintain the system further, upgrade it, or abandon it in its entirety.”

If the old-fashioned alarm system is abandoned, some building owners may have to hire a private alarm monitoring system.

At Tuesday’s meeting, city council tasked the Chief with finding someone who can guide them to a decision.

James Yaman Memorials

Council publicly thanks 26 people who made donations in memory of longtime business and civic leader James Yaman totaling $2,280. The money will support the Cortland Youth Bureau.

Proceeds of a mild winter

Council also approved the purchase of two backhoes that might still be at CNY Farm Supply except for our mild winter.

Savings of $90,000 from salt, overtime and other budgeted costs of snow season were used toward the backhoes.

Using state contract prices and trade-ins and the city was able to replace two 11-year old machines for a net cost of about $30,000 each.

Chris Bistocchi, Cortland’s DPW Superintendent also made sure there is still money in the “snow bank” for November and December snow removal costs.

Related: City To Study Public Safety Facility Needs

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