County Avoids Using Eminent Domain for 911 Radio Towers

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Last week, the Cambria County Board of Commissioners agreed to purchase private property to be used to site a new radio tower, the fourth of four locations in its planned emergency network. Although eminent domain was cited to acquire some of the other properties, it was not needed for the final installment to upgrading the county’s public safety radio system, according to the Tribune-Democrat.

The Commission announced it paid $50,000 for a 75-by-75-foot square of land in the 700 block of Frankstown Road near South Fork. It paid the same amount for each of the other three properties under eminent domain and enacted direction by the county solicitor, William Gleason Barbin. The other sites are in Fallentimber, Ashville and Northern Cambria. 

According to Barbin, the sellers will receive 50 percent of any revenue the county receives from any third-party equipment that may be installed at the tower sites in the future.

The Democrat reported Motorola Solutions Inc. was awarded a $16.9 million contract late last year to upgrade Cambria County’s public safety radio system after it had been criticized by the county’s 911 authorities for being unreliable, with spotty coverage.

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