Waldo County officials look to locate new radio tower in Stockton Springs

By Ben Holbrook | Mar 04, 2014

Stockton Springs — County Commissioners are working on a deal to locate a new radio communications tower in Stockton Springs on land owned by the Searsport Water District.

Commissioner Chairman Bill Shorey said the county has been looking at finding a new location for its radio tower, which is currently located on Mount Ephraim Road in Searsport and is aging and becoming unstable, because emergency crews in Stockton Springs have had trouble receiving dispatch signals.

Shorey said the new tower would be located at the Searsport Water District's reservoir in Stockton Springs, which will allow for greater radio coverage throughout the county.

As an added bonus to the enhanced coverage the tower would provide if located at the reservoir, Shorey noted the water district also keeps the area well maintained in terms of snow removal during the winter. In addition, the tower would have to have a backup power source, which could also provide power for other equipment at the reservoir, Shorey said.

Shorey estimated the new tower could cost between $40,000 and $50,000. He said the county would need to purchase any land at the reservoir from the water district, but would most likely pay a yearly lease fee of between $6,500 and $8,000.

While commissioners are hoping to move the project forward for this summer with the goal of having the project completed by the fall, Shorey said nothing has been finalized at this time.

“We have a ways to go in the development process,” Shorey said.

When asked if the tower in Searsport would remain or be torn down, Shorey said the tower would probably be left as it is and the county broadcast one frequency from it.

During a court session Tuesday, Feb. 11, commissioners voted unanimously to transfer $50,000 from the county's undesignated fund account to the equipment improvement reserve account for the project. Any leftover funds from the project would then be transferred into another reserve account, according to minutes of the court session.

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Ben Holbrook
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Ben Holbrook is a reporter for The Republican Journal covering general news.

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