Desert Mountain HS to remain Scottsdale public safety radio site

Scottsdale City Council has approved an intergovernmental agreement extension with the Scottsdale Unified School District for a public safety radio site.

The five-year extension is for continued use of a radio site at Desert Mountain High School, 12575 E. Via Linda.

Desert Mountain High School is at 12575 E. Via Linda (file photo)

On Jan. 15, Scottsdale City Council approved on consent the IGA; while SUSD agreed to extend the contract on Nov. 13, 2018.

On July 1, 2009, City Council entered into the IGA allowing for the installation of a public safety radio site on the roof of Desert Mountain High School. This agreement allowed the city to install eight omni-directional antennas, three microwave dishes, and a ground-mounted equipment shelter, according to a city staff report.

The initial term was for 10 years, with renewals for subsequent five-year terms upon mutual agreement. The city staff approached SUSD requesting the contract be extended, as the site is still essential to the city’s radio network, the staff report states.

There has been and will continue to be no cost to the city for the use of the building, city staff say. Although, the city will continue to be responsible for the maintenance and repairs of all antennas, equipment, attachments and building structures related to the radio communications site.

Before the Scottsdale Fire Department was launched in June 2005, Scottsdale installed a VHF radio communications system for public safety use across the city. There are a total of seven public safety radio communications sites within the City of Scottsdale, the staff report states.

The public safety radio site that now exists on the roof of DMHS was once located on a lattice tower on a hilltop in Fountain Hills.

“The site provided radio coverage for the areas along the Shea Boulevard corridor and the McDowell Mountain foothills,” the city staff report states.

“Because this lattice tower was loaded to its maximum structural capacity and the equipment shelter was also at its limit, the city could not add additional antennas and electronics required to support the new 700 MHz public safety radio system.”

DMHS’s auditorium roof was identified in 2007 by the city’s radio engineer as a location that would provide improved coverage and allow the city the room needed for additional equipment.

Northeast Valley News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be e-mailed at mrosequist@newszap.com or can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/mrosequist_.

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