North Country Public Radio serves the North Country through an ever growing network of repeater facilities. As we successfully apply for and receive broadcast licenses from the Federal Communications Commission (a long, arduous and infrequent opportunity), NCPR must raise the funding for new and upgraded facilities.
Over the past decade, we've been the happy beneficiary of federal grants via Senator John McHugh through the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program. These grants funded 74% of the cost of a recent new facilities This means we need to ask our listeners and potential listeners in a new community for less of their own financial resources. But, we still need private support to complete facilities projects. On occasion, we have to raise the full cost of a new facility. When that's happened in the Adirondacks, Senator Betty Little has been a generous benefactor by providing a legislative allocation from public funds. Former Senator James Wright has also been a generous investor via his legislative allocations in provided emergency power sources and replacing our main tower in Canton.
We hope you'll join us in making these current projects broadcast realities!
2008 Adirondack Projects:
This brand new upgraded facility will provide enhanced service quality to the hamlet and surrounding small communities of Piercefield, Conifer, Little and Big Wolf. The 110-watt signal (at 88.3 fm), will replace the 10-watt translator (91.7 fm) that's served the community for two decades. The current repeater facility has been generously hosted by the town first on the water tower and now in the High School bus garage. This new facility will now move to new location on Mount Morris. This change gives us much better coverage in the Western Adirondacks. We've had a lot of "strong suggestions" over the years about improving the signal driving from Tupper Lake to almost anywhere else: Saranac Lake, Cranberry Lake, Long Lake, Blue Mountain Lake, etc. This project will cost a total of just under $25,000. In addition, the annual expenses (rent, phone line, engineering) at the new location will be just over 6,000 per year in new costs so we'll need to support those expenses as well.
Goal: $25,000 in direct facility costs and $19,000 for the first three years of operation. Project Total: $44,000*
*Note: We received federal grant support for just under $11,000. The remaining costs are $33,000.
Westport, Essex, and Port Henry NY
This is a new 160-watt station (on 90.5 fm) Westport, Essex and Port Henry NY. We turned this facility on in December of 2008 and have had very positive responses from the community. The new facility gives us coverage in communities we've never been able to serve, and have often been asked by community residents to include in our network. We have received a grant from the Essex Community to fund to help with installation expenses. This one costs just under $37,000 to build and the annual expenses are approximately $5000 in annual costs.
Goal: $37,000 in direct facility costs and $15,000 for the first three years of operation. Total: $52,000*
*Note: We received federal grant support for just over $15,000 for this project and an additional $1000 from the Essex Community Fund, a geographic field of interest fund managed by the Adirondack Community Trust. The remaining costs are $36,000.
2009 St. Lawrence and Jefferson County Projects
Listeners in Gouverneur and all points west to Watertown have long complained that our signal there is weak. Many listeners can only hear us in their vehicles as the signal will not come into their homes, including the most often mentioned kitchens and bedrooms. Imagine your morning coffee without Todd Moe? This facility will solve that problem as well as significantly improve coverage in the communities along Route 3 from Natural Bridge to Cranberry Lake. We plan to build a mid-size (1400 watt) station on the 90.5 fm frequency.
Gouverneur would cost $55,000 to install and the current project for tower rental is about $9,000 annually. We're now working to find a lower cost alternative for tower space.
Current Goal: $55,000 in direct facilities costs
We've long enjoyed a faithful and dedicated following in Jefferson County but, truthfully, in many communities our coverage was spotty at best. This project will increase the power of our existing station from 200 Watts to 6,500 Watts. This will provide very solid coverage through most of Jefferson County and northern Lewis County. The signal will be especially strong in Ft. Drum, Philadelphia, Antwerp, and Watertown.
Current Goal: $75,000 in direct facilities costs.
Listeners in Cape Vincent will hear an improved 1000 watt facility on 88.1. Canada just approved a new powerful station right "next door" in frequency to our existing Cape Vincent frequency. Our proposed new facility will ensure that we can still be heard in Cape Vincent and surrounding communities. This change will also provide great coverage to Depauville, Three Mile Bay and Chaumont - communities not adequately reached by either the old or new Watertown facility. We anticipate installation costs around $30,000 with some additional annual expense for tower rental.
Current Goal: $30,000 in direct facility costs
The Ever Expanding North Country Public Radio Facilities Network:
Our ultimate goal remains: To reach every resident of the region with an NCPR signal. To that end, we're always adding new and upgrading facilities across the region.
1968: WSLU Canton 89.5 fm