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      Kirksville's old communications tower is down but not out

      The City of Kirksville's old communications tower is destined to improve communication for the Adair County Sheriff's Office.

      Crews just finished taking down Kirksville's previous tower that stood next to city hall.

      At the request of Sheriff Robert Hardwick, the city gave the tower to the sheriff's office.

      Hardwick said he plans to eventually have the tower put up in a part of the county where his deputies have problems communicating with their handheld radios.

      "Portable radios put out less wattage, so therefore your transmission and receiving is somewhat hampered because of the new narrowband system that we're moving toward, which is a federal mandate of 2013," said Hardwick.

      Hardwick has been conducting tests in various parts of Adair County to determine where the problem areas are.

      He is not sure just yet how much it will cost to have the tower put back up, but he was glad to get it for free.

      "We'll look at the cost factors and things like this, but if you can get something, or a piece of equipment donated to you, again you're saving tax dollars,â?? said Hardwick. â??You're not spending money on a tower that you would have had to buy."

      Kirksville Codes and Planning Director Brad Selby told KTVO that T-Mobile paid for a new tower for the city and paid to have the old tower taken down.

      They just finished disassembling the previous tower this week.

      On Thursday, crews were up on the new tower working to get all of the equipment for various agencies hooked back up.

      Selby said after one year, T-Mobile will pay the city to lease tower space for its equipment.

      Hardwick said he is not sure when he will have the old tower put back up.

      He says it's a work in progress, and he still has to figure out the most-effective location for the structure out in the county.

      He said the southwest and northwest sections of the county are the trouble spots because of the hilly terrain.