Gage County is evaluating its options regarding a failing communications tower in Blue Springs, including leasing space on a different tower for its equipment.
Multiple tower companies have declined to perform maintenance on the tower near the ball fields in Blue Springs as a result of safety concerns.
The tower has failed recent inspections and equipment on the tower was damaged during storms last spring.
The County Board is considering a proposal to purchase new repeaters and equipment that may be installed elsewhere in the southern part of Gage County, and is continuing to look for options.
Gage County Emergency Management Director Lisa Wiegand said that, since the last regular County Board meeting, another company has come forward with interest in the tower.
“At the time that I reached out to the committee, I did receive a call out of the blue from Clear View Tower,” she said. “They had heard through the press that we had a tower we have some problems with. I sent our inspection to them and it said that after a review of the tower, it appears the tower needs to be decommissioned.”
Under a proposal from Clear View Tower, they would take down the tower. They would then build a new tower that they would own and lease back to the county to put communication equipment on it.
County Board members encouraged Wiegand to hear out the proposal and come back to the board when there were firm cost estimates in place, though board member Erich Tiemann cautioned that the county has received different opinions on the state the tower is actually in.
“Keep in mind, the people who said it could be repaired were not people trying to sell us a tower,” Tiemann said. “It’s a tower sales company. Our tower’s always bad, but they can sell us a new one.”
The tower was built around 1970 and was last painted around eight years ago.
Wires on the tower are no longer covered, and Tiemann said the elements have taken a toll on it. The lights on the tower were also knocked out after it was struck by lightning.
The tower serves departments in the general southern part of the county, south of Highway 136.
It’s been previously stated that a new repeater and the corresponding equipment that would be installed in the dispatch center in Beatrice would cost approximately $27,000.
Wiegand said all options will be considered before a decision is made regarding the tower.
“You have to study all your options,” she said. “The important part that you’ve expressed is getting safety and service to everybody. I’ll keep researching the facts and presenting the information to you.”