FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners agreed Tuesday to have a lease drawn up for two communications towers on Mosher Hill.
After discussions about extending the county’s 100-foot tower on Mosher Hill to help improve the county’s communication issues, an idea to use a nearby 190-foot tower owned by Tri-County EMS was considered, Tim Hardy, Franklin County Emergency Management Agency director, told commissioners.
Tri-County EMS decided it may be time to get out of radio management, he said. It offered to turn the tower and building over to Franklin County for a minimal amount, maybe $1, but continue to use the tower.
The Tri-County EMS tower was developed for communications between five hospitals but it is very underutilized, Stan Wheeler, director of the Franklin County Regional Communications Center, said after the meeting.
The county pays $1,900 to Thomas Eastler to lease the tower land. Tri-County has a gentleman’s agreement with Eastler to lease the property for $3,200.
The county’s lease is due to expire Dec. 31.
Eastler would like the county to provide a long-term lease for the two towers for around $5,000, Hardy said.
“It’s a win-win situation,” Hardy said.
The county building near the tower is metal with no climate control for radio equipment. The Tri-County building is heated. The tower was inspected last week and is in good shape but needs a few minor adjustments with the cables.
Hardy and Wheeler want county ownership of both towers.
“It is prudent to keep both towers,” Wheeler said.
Commissioners agreed to have the attorney draw up a lease for the towers.
The amount will need to be included in next year’s communications budget, county Clerk Julie Magoon said.