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Commissioners: Communication tower not likely before school

A tower needed for crucial 911 communication in Boone County will likely not be ready before the start of school.

In a special report last month ABC 17 News reported emergency responders need the tower by Battle High School to communicate effectively.

Without the tower emergency responders can’t communication with joint communications inside the building at all.

Now with a new elementary school opening in August, more children will be at risk.

“I honestly don’t believe its possible to get a tower up by the start of school,” said Boone County Commissioner Karen Miller.

Miller said she would guess around October, which means the elementary school would be opening without complying to current fire code.

County fire officials said they were not going to let the elementary school open without the tower when it was in their jurisdiction.

However, the city has allowed the school to open since the tower is in the process of being built.

“Within 30 days the bids for the tower should go out according to our purchasing director,” said Miller.

That puts the bids going out at the end of June and then much more still needs to be done.

“Then we have to do erection services, we have to do the foundation, we have to do the building, we have to do the generator, we have to do the feed lines… So there is a whole lot that goes into this,” said Miller.

She estimates about six bids will have to go out for this one tower.

So while it does seem to be taking awhile Miller said in a way they do have an advantage with who they just hired since he is working on another tower in the county.

“He is working as fast as he can, and since we have already been working on the 911 tower really we are steps ahead,” said Miller.

They will be able to use the same specifications as the other tower just change out the site location according to Miller.

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