The tower at the vacant St. Johnâ??s Hospital has provided space for the E-911 antennas for years. The E-911 antennas include service for the public works and sheriffâ??s department.
The hospital has plans to be torn down in the fall or early next year. This has left Wapello County Supervisors scrambling to find a new location and tower for its antennas.
If a new tower must be purchased, the entire project could cost upwards of $400,000.
â??Now 911 is able to pay for that, but 911 is not able to own land. So in the process, the county may have to buy the land and erect a tower that's paid for by the 911 system,â?? says Jerry Parker, Wapello County Supervisor.
There have been many options for locations put on the table. However, not all areas in the county are suitable; reception may not be the best in some areas.
Parker believes the most ideal location is behind the fire station where the Washington Jr. High used to be.
â??There are three or four towers that are there now. Part of that land is vacant and itâ??s suitable for another antenna to be placed there. Also, one of the towers is already there and they are now starting to show some interest in allowing us to place our antennas on their tower for a very slight fee,â?? said Parker.
The Wapello County Board of Supervisors will be meeting Tuesday to discuss more possible options.