Officials move to build tower in Lineboro

Structure would fill emergency-calls void

January 24, 2001|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,SUN STAFF

County public safety officials plan to move forward with a new tower in Lineboro and will tap the expertise of state agencies to choose a site that will eliminate a gap in emergency communications.

Buddy Redman, director of public safety, plans to meet next week with officials from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services and the state Department of Management and Budget's General Services to revisit prospective sites for the tower. The agencies have surveyed sites in Carroll County and southern Pennsylvania.

Lineboro Volunteer Fire Department urged the county commissioners last week to hire an engineer to choose a site and build the tower. The commissioners agreed yesterday to use MIEMS.

"If the folks from MIEMS have been building towers and have used our studies, then they're certainly qualified to pick a site and build the tower," said Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier.

For three years, Carroll County Volunteer Firemen's Association and Lineboro Volunteer Fire Department have pushed the county to build a tower that would better serve the low-lying, hilly areas in northeastern Carroll, where regular communications fail.

The tower, which will be about 340 to 400 feet tall, will help eliminate a gap in emergency communications and extend mobile radio coverage as far as York, Pa.

The county has budgeted $750,000 for the tower.

Since the county instituted an 800 megahertz radio communications system about four years ago, Lineboro Volunteer Fire Department has sometimes been unable to communicate with other units during emergency calls and has had to switch to a the low band frequency.

Once a site is chosen, the county has to negotiate with the landowner for the property, Redman said. Once that is done, the county has to get its Federal Communications Commission license, which could take from six weeks to 90 days. "The license is your construction permit," Redman said. Building the tower will take only a few days, he said.

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