Phase II improvements to the town of New Milford's emergency communications system have brought improvements beyond initial expectations.

The project also came in under budget.

This was the news given Monday, Jan. 13, by Mike Zaraba, the Emergency Communications Construction Committee chairman, and Lt. William Scribner, the vice chairman, to the Town Council.

"From a Police Department standpoint, the change is phenomenal," Scribner said. "When I came to the department 27 years ago, 12 percent of the town was covered. Now we're at 100 percent.

"No matter where I go in New Milford, police, fire and Public Works all have the same coverage," he said.

The construction project was bonded for $3.57 million.

It encompassed six sites in town: the police department headquarters along Geiger Road; Chapin Road; the Gaylordsville firehouse; Boardman Road (at the O&G site) and New Milford High School.

The intent of the design is to have an intraoperational, two-way radio system among all of the town's emergency responders.

The original goal was 95 percent coverage. The end result is 99.97 percent coverage, Zarba said.

The new system went live Sept. 17.

The project came in $97,568.30 under budget. The committee recommended the money be put in the capital account for other essential communication needs.

--Susan Tuz