At a meeting of the Scotts Bluff County Commissioners earlier this year, participants discussed the urgent need for upgraded tower facilities in their Nebraska town. The Star Herald explained that this problem has loomed for years without an obvious solution.
“The tower has served its purpose in an excellent way for that [40-year] time frame, but it is full,” said Communications Director Ray Richards.
“We cannot put any more equipment on that tower — for the things that we are doing in the communications center, as well as the mandates that are coming over the horizon for us for future growth.” The current tower supports 30 antennas that handle all calls for police and emergency services.
The existing tower is located under the courthouse roof at a height of approximately 60 feet. The city of Gering has a 150 foot ordinance in effect. Plans for a new tower call for a height of 160 feet, which would require a zoning variance. If all goes well, the new tower will occupy a grassy area adjacent to the town’s old jail. “Everything that comes out of the communications center starts at this tower,” Richards said.
Rick Derr of Action Communications surveyed the aging courthouse tower and shared his findings with the Commission. Pointing out guy wires that were only secured to a nearby wall, Derr spoke in favor a building a new communications tower. “If that tower were to come down, safety would be compromised,” he said. “We’re in an attic. The heartbeat of the county is in an attic.”
March 14, 2019