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Scotts Bluff Co. Board selects new chair, gives ok to start process for new communications tower

Scotts Bluff Co. Board selects new chair, gives ok to start process for new communications tower

Reorganization was the primary work for the Scotts Bluff County Commissioners Monday.

Ken Meyer was selected to be the chair of the newly constituted board, with commissioner Glenn Schleve named vice chairman.

The board also gave the go ahead for staff to begin looking at the process of replacing the communications tower currently sitting on top of the county courthouse.

The existing structure is 40 years old, and Communications Director Ray Richards says the tower and antennas have suffered some degradation through bird strikes, wind and lightning.

Richards tells KNEB News changing technology also means the need to have a new tower with room to grow. “We just have more demands on fire department paging, the mobile data terminals in patrol cars,” says Richards. “There are just a lot of things taking place in fire science in the area, fire services, emergency medical services, law enforcement, just a lot of things causing, and creating in a good way, a lot more demands on the equipment we have”.

Richards says a new tower could be sited just west of the old jail, at a cost of less than $500,000. He says there may be some federal funding available to pay for the cost, however the entire project would be able to fit inside his department’s current budget.

Commissioners also were told that the county Detention Center will be taking in female inmates from Wyoming as early as this week. Jail Director Joe Gaul told the panel some 16 detainees from Platte County will arrive by Friday, with nearly 40 to be added from Lusk, Wyoming over the next few weeks.

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