Interoperability Montana Technical Committee (IMTC) by w0N9ZI


									               Interoperability Montana Technical Committee (IMTC)
                      Five- Year Planning Session - MINUTES
                         Oct. 21, 2008 ● 9:00 am to 12:00 pm ● Billings

Bob McWilliams                                       IMTC Chair, I-15/90 Corridor Consortium
Mark Adams                                           Northrop Grumman
Scott Bradford                                       Public Safety Services Bureau (PSSB)
Bruce Brown                                          FBI
Mark Canton                                          Motorola
Alan Cristaldi                                       Ravalli County
Peggy Glass                                          SCMIC
Dorothy Gremaux                                      Central Montana Consortium
Roger Hays                                           Tri-County Consortium
Ben Hess                                             Gallatin County 9-1-1
Ray Hetherington                                     Big Sky 11 Consortium
Eric Hoover                                          Ravalli County
Rusty Jardee                                         Carter County Sheriff
Steve Keller                                         MT Dept. of Transportation
Chuck Maxwell                                        Yellowstone County Sheriff
Alan Miller                                          BLM
Dave McGinnis                                        Missoula County, WICC
Dale Osborne                                         Montana Highway Patrol (MHP)
Denny Palmer                                         Eastern Tier Consortium
Cliff Peck                                           Alster Communications
Curtis Petrik                                        Sheridan County; NTIC
Butch Renders                                        Richland County; ETIC
Dan Seitsema                                         Roosevelt County
Roger Smith                                          Montana Highway Patrol
Jack Spillman                                        Northern Tier Consortium
E. Wing Spooner                                      PSSB
Dave Swanson                                         MT Dept. of Transportation

Welcome and Introductions: The meeting began at 8:50 am. Introductions were completed.

Purpose of the Meeting – Bob McWilliams explained the purpose of the meeting is to address the five-
year IM build-out. Other issues can be addressed at other IM Technical Committee meetings, such as
budgets and priorities. He want to identify all sites that would be trunked, microwave or tied in as part of
the system. He explained that Phase 1 is infrastructure; Phase 2 is microwave connectivity; and, Phase
3 is trunking. He also explained that emphasis will be on building redundant microwave rings rather than
having individual hot-standby sites.

WICC – Dave McGinnis reported that Ellis Mountain is on line and is working; however, the microwave
path should be from Point 118 to Ellis. Ellis is ready for equipment and has frequencies. The issue is
getting a microwave hop to Lookout Pass. Ravalli County is exploring alternate sites to the Downing
Mountain site that will connect to Sula Peak. The priority for Ravalli County is an alternate site for
Downing Mountain. Deer Mountain is a great site, but it does not have power. Solar and wind power
might be feasible options, but more research is needed. Utah has some solar trunking sites, but the
solar systems are pretty significant.

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The courthouse in Superior looks at Thompson Peak. Since the Mineral County Sheriff’s office is used
to using digital radios, it would be easy to upgrade this region. For Mineral County, infrastructure is
needed for Lolo Pass and possibly the Tarkio site as an alterative to Thompson Peak, which is too

It would be very strategic to run a microwave hop from Lost Trail Ski Hill to Sula Peak to provide
redundancy to the Miller, Cominco, and Mac Pass sites. The Lookout site looks at Sula, but the shelter
is inadequate.

Sanders County needs connectivity into the northwest corner, and BNSF Railway has a site called
Clark’s Peak, which is above Thompson Falls, but it does not have line of site to Pat’s Knob. Sanders
County has a lot of Phase 1 needs. Sanders, Lincoln and Flathead County loop would be an important
loop and should be defined as “completing the northwest loop.” It is a Phase 1 and Phase 2 project.
Green Mountain may not have power. The Government Hill site is going away.

Missoula County is ready to donate frequencies and sites at Ellis, Blanchard, Pierce and Miller, which
would open the I-93 corridor. BNSF has a site in Lake County that might be a possibility. Lake County is
covered by existing sites. Another site to consider is Oliver Point for coverage of Sanders and Lake
Counties, and it would need infrastructure. Oliver goes to Pat’s Knob.

The greatest priority is to complete the northwest loop to bring a second independent microwave path
into the western portion of the state. All sites still need to be identified. Stonewall and Blanchard look at
each other, and the sites are there. The Ravalli County leg is another entire project to be completed
within the next five years.

Northern Tier – Jack Spillman added Desert Mountain in Flathead County for coverage of West Glacier
and Highway 2 that Big Mountain does not reach. Mount Anaeus is another site that would provide good
connectivity. Bob and Roger will run some path profiles from this site to Pierce. The site needs a road.
Space is available for landing a helicopter, but it is doubtful that a tower would be allowed.

Mount Baldy in Lincoln County is another site to consider, but it does not have power. The Border Patrol
is interested in this site, too. It may have to be a solar site. Marion is also a good location, but would be
down the list. Glacier Baldy in Glacier County is another NTIP site for future consideration. The tribe is
trying to reclaim some of the land there as part of the reservation, so access is a consideration.

The Centennial site is another concern. Cheri Kilby spent time discussing the site with the tribe, and
wants to look at other options due to payment issues. An easement for power to the site does not look
promising. A lower site between Havre and Blaine County called Oh John #1 is on private property and
has good access. It is at a significantly lower elevation, but it would help with coverage. The
recommendation is to drop the Centennial site, especially because it does not assist portable coverage
in Havre. Trunking needs to be added to the Deadman site as well as Opheim. For the Culbertson and
Fox Creek sites, IM members are looking at the possibility of adding Sioux Pass as a microwave hop. It
could be a good fill in.

Dan Sietsema said that Roosevelt County has some alternate sites that might shoot into Richey. Jack
also wanted to make sure microwave is in place in Roosevelt County (Phase 2). Dan reported that there
is a trunking coverage issue in the northeastern corner of the state. Sioux Pass will help, but won’t be a
total answer. The Nemont Bainville South site might be useful. Dan will get Roger the coordinates and
will let him know what kind of tower is there. Dan also suggested completing the ring at Opheim. Some
infrastructure might be available at Rose Hill and possibly at the old Air Force Base. Dan will do some
checking on the intermediate hop.

imtc_2008_10_21_minutes_amended_and_approved_2008_11_24                                               2
Eastern Tier – Funding is available to finish the microwave system back into Billings. Pyramid
Consulting is evaluating the three sites for the second master zone controller, which will also slightly
impact the microwave network. Members discussed a Southeast Ring possibly involving the following
sites: Fallon, Big Sheep, Gibb’s Divide, Cohagen, Jordan, Garfield North and Sand Springs. Microwave
paths need to be studied in the southeast corner. Also, the IM needs to check if Home Creek sees
Pyramid Butte. Both are powered sites. Alan Miller will confirm the microwave paths.

Dale Osborne said that Carter County and MHP have a repeater site at W Butte, which is on private
land. A lot of work would be needed to re-develop that site, whereas the Alzada site is a better location
and Elsworth Air Force Base is already there. Tri-Point is a good location, too, but it would need a new
building and tower. It sees Miles City.

All user agreements and permits are complete in the Eastern Tier except for two in Powder River
County. Preliminary site walks are needed to verify infrastructure needs, including tower analysis. The
Little Wolf site would be a completely new site, because the building is not big enough nor is the tower.
Roger said that this winter he may be able to go out and obtain necessary site walk information and
confirm microwave paths.

Big Sky 11 - The location of the Hysham site has not been finalized. A final decision on this site is
needed before the build out can continue south. The Little Wolf site needs to be developed as well. The
Big Horn site needs infrastructure and microwave as well as the Decker Relay site. The Winnett Loop
needs infrastructure and microwave, too.

Ray Hetherington expressed disappointment in the lack of progress on the Cooney site on the part of
the U.S. Air Force, and said that if the USAF is not going to get the site built, the IM Project should
assume the responsibility.

Access to Greeno is good. Jim Kraft, Yellowstone County, has contacted the land owner on lease
arrangements, with a caveat that payments won’t begin until construction has begun. The Swords site
would be a microwave hop. Microwave paths were discussed, with the possibility of shifting the Pipps
Park site to the Greeno site. The path would be as follows: Shane RidgeGreenoSacrifice
CliffsDunn Mountain. Sacrifice Cliffs would help provide mobile coverage in the city, but not portable
coverage. A recommendation was made to add the Courthouse as a site that would compliment this
project, which also would enhance portable coverage. Red Lodge would be a spur.

Dunn Mountain is leased by Conoco, which wants to give up the lease to the county. Negotiations are
underway. The priority is to decide on the Hysham site for the east-west pipeline. Then, develop the
Greeno, Sacrifice Cliffs, Dunn Mountain and Courthouse sites. The courthouse roof is being re-done, so
this site needs to be fast-tracked. Permitting and paperwork is still up in the air on all these sites.

Sacrifice Cliffs is a MDoT site. Progress needs to be accomplished before the end of the year.
Deadlines need to be set for Yellowstone County and Big Sky 11 consortium because end dates exist
for both the state and PSIC funds. Make this item as an action item for next IMTC meeting.

SCMIC – Sweetgrass needs dispatch connectivity to the airport site. Also, they want something south of
Big Timber. There is an old AT&T site about seven miles south, but, it’s not far enough south to provide
much better coverage than what already is in place. The airport site needs to be added to the list.
Coordinates are needed to see if Greycliff looks at dispatch.

Park County – Needs site south of Emigrant for connection to Yellowstone National Park. This could
possibly be Dome Mountain (solar site) or Corwin Springs. NorthWestern Energy has some sites in the
area, too.

imtc_2008_10_21_minutes_amended_and_approved_2008_11_24                                           3
Coverage north also is a concern, and it is unclear as to whether or not Myers Flat will provide sufficient
coverage north. Kings Hill and Grassy will provide some coverage.

Meagher County – Cooney will provide significant coverage as well as Kings Hill. Kings Hill is on Forest
Service property and would be a green site.

Gallatin County to Madison – Duck Creek and VC Pass will be developed, and these sites are
anticipated to handle the south end of the county. Madison County also is looking at connectivity from
VC Pass to Lone Mountain and then a possible hop to Andacite.

I-15/90 Corridor – A microwave shot from Red Mountain to Rumsey is needed and it also would tie into
Sula Peak from Butler, but this is a lower priority. A microwave hop from Lost Creek to the Anaconda
LEC and from the LEC to the Firehall also is desired. The Firehall would be a trunked site. All permits
with the exception of Grassy are in place.

Tri-County – Broadwater County has the Limestone Hills and Grassy sites. Jefferson County needs
Boulder Hill, and Powell County wants to develop Prison Hill as a trunked site.

Central Consortium – Dorothy need connectivity between Judith Peak and Winnett. Also, the
consortium needs coverage in the Alaskan Bench area. Connectivity is needed at the Oh John #1 site,
too. A ring could be created if a path could connect to Ryegate. There is a good shot to the Garneil site.
Wall Creek is a leased site and a propagation map needs to be run on it.

Conclusion – Bob reiterated that this is a five-year plan with the intention that if funding were available,
these would be the sites that would be developed to make coverage in the state complete. The priority
is to get pipeline completed through Treasure and Yellowstone Counties.

    Next Meeting: The next IMTC meeting will be Monday, Nov. 24, 2008 at the State Capitol in
     Helena at 9:00 am.

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at noon.
Action Items – Oct. 21
Action                                          Responsible          Date to be Completed
Run some path profiles from Mount Anaeus        Bob McWilliams and   ASAP
to Pierce.                                      Roger Smith
Provide Roger Smith with the coordinates for    Dan Sietsema         ASAP
the Nemont Bainville South site and will let
him know what kind of tower is there.
Check to see if Home Creek sees Pyramid         Alan Miller          ASAP
Set deadlines for Yellowstone County and Big    ?                    Nov. 24
Sky 11 consortium because end dates exist
for both the state and PSIC funds. Make this
item as an action item for next IMTC meeting.
Coordinates are needed to see if Greycliff      ?                    ?
looks at dispatch.
Wall Creek is a leased site and a propagation   ?                    ?
map needs to be run on it.

imtc_2008_10_21_minutes_amended_and_approved_2008_11_24                                             4

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