Tower of Power

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 16, 2008

JACKSON – There has been another step in helping to strengthen emergency radio communication in Northampton County.

In a recent Northampton County Board of Commissioners meeting, a measure was approved to allow the county to enter into a rental contract with Mid Atlantic Tower, LLC.

The contract allows the rental of an antenna and equipment space for the new simulcast radio system that was approved by the board in January.

“Hopefully this will help us with transmitting in the Lake (Gaston) area where we have those roly-poly hills,” said Communications Director Ronnie Storey.

According to Storey, the work will be done on a tower near the Virginia border on the western end of the county.

The monthly rental fee is $1,275, which includes space for antennas on the 400 foot tower and the use of a weatherproof, climate controlled building with back-up power to house the radio equipment.

“This rental fee is good for five years,” said Storey. “However, the county may terminate the contract at anytime with 60 days notice.”

Storey said if the county decides to renew the contract in five years, the rental rate will increase by 4 percent to $1,326 each month.

The rental fees will be paid from the Wired Fund balance that was released at the beginning of this year.

Commissioner James Hester (D-1st) motioned to approve the contract and Commission Vice Chair Fannie Greene offered a second. The measure passed without objection.