Tower provides more coverage

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, September 20, 2017

District One Supervisor T. Wayne Hoover offered a report Thursday about greater hand-held radio coverage for area first responders, thanks to a new cell tower erected in Dundas by Verizon.

Hoover said the county has been allowed to place emergency radio communication antennas atop the Verizon tower. It will allow emergency first responders with hand-held radios to communicate with dispatchers, Hoover said.

He estimated there was close to 98 percent hand-held coverage across the county as a result of the new tower.

During the Thursday board of supervisor’s meeting, Hoover presented a graphic of the Dundas’ tower service, with red portions representing the areas with the best coverage and light green representing the worst coverage.

Lunenburg’s coverage, Hoover said, had saturated coverage in the graphic.

He said one of the main transmission sites in the county for this

coverage is at the Lunenburg Correctional Center at Falls Road.

To include the Dundas coverage with the existing wireless coverage, Hoover said modification will have to take place with the existing transmission sites in Lunenburg, including modifying the water tower located in the Town of Kenbridge’s industrial park to receive signals.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to just bring that up,” Hoover said regarding the modifications in the county and at Dundas.

The cost of the project to the county, Hoover said, is roughly $38,000.

Verizon approached the county to conduct an investigation for two towers in Lunenburg in 2005. Verizon received the first conditional use permit for both towers before 2010, but did not construct the them at the time.

A special conditional use permit for one of the two towers was rescinded by the board earlier this year after the county received notice from Verizon representative Drew Patterson that the company was not moving forward on constructing the tower.
The cell tower, owned by Verizon, is located at 1315 Mill Pond Road.

During the Thursday meeting, Hoover suggested using a portion of the county’s 911 Fund to support the cost.

Members of the board of supervisors voted in favor of allocating the funds to the tower coverage.