For some time, Barton County law enforcement officers have had a difficult time with communications in the far northeast part of the county. Officials hope to change that.
The county is looking a purchasing a small communications tower standing five and three quarter miles northeast of Claflin on NE 160 Road on private property. It is currently owned by H&B Communications of Holyrood which leases the ground it stands on, but they have not used it for about 15 years
“Officer safety is the concern,” County Administrator Richard Boeckman said.
“It seems structurally sound,” he said. But, it would be prudent to have a structural examination done.
The County Commission approved contracting with All-State Towers out of Henderson, Ky., at a cost of $1,450.
The cost of the tower is $2,500. But, after installing electricity, a propane tank and necessary equipment, and perhaps replacing the cable, the total price would be in the neighborhood of $10,000, Boeckman said.
In addition, a long-term lease with the property owner would be needed.
“This opportunity just presented itself,” Sheriff Brian Bellendir said. “I think it would be good to take advantage of it.
Despite the additional expenses, commissioners still felt this was a good deal, especially if it would help keep first responders safe. Besides, funds are available from the county’s 911 tax to cover the expense.
Bellendir said they can work around not having the coverage in the area by using a different radio frequency. But, the tower would bolster the county’s main frequency which is commonly used.