Out with the old and away with the even older.
As the groundbreaking for the new jail and 911 center quickly approaches, Franklin County is currently in the process of eliminating not one, but two old radio towers from the sheriff’s department property.
One has been on the ground since 2015 and the other is still in the air. On Tuesday the Franklin County Commission approved the disposal of both at no cost to the taxpayers.
Emergency Management Agency Director Abe Cook said the tower is currently dismantled and not in working order and will be donated to a fire district outside Franklin County.
The Bland Fire Protection District has expressed an interest in it and the Franklin County Commission wants to dispose of the dismantled radio tower in a manner that assures that the best interests of the citizens have been met by allowing for the equipment to be donated.
“The Bland fire chief expressed interest in the tower, and we needed to get rid of it,” Cook said. “This should be a great thing.”
The second tower, which is still in the air and in the way of the jail project, will be removed at no cost as well.
Cook estimates that tower was constructed on the property in the 1980s or 1990s.
The commission approved a second order authorizing Jefferson City-based A&W Communications to dismantle and dispose of the radio tower at zero cost to Franklin County.
Cook said the company will either repurpose the tower or sell the metal materials for scrap to cover their dismantling expenses and possibly profit from the deal.
The equipment on the tower, primarily used for citizens’ band and ham radio operations, will be relocated to a third tower on the property that will remain.
A small tower control house located on the property has already been relocated to clear space for the jail renovation and construction.