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Chippewa Sheriff Tower News

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jpjohn

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From WQOW website news:

Chippewa County replacing communications tower

Chippewa County (WQOW) - During an emergency, the 9-1-1 call is so important. What's also critical is for those who receive that call to be able to communicate with rescue crews in the field. A new tower in Chippewa County could improve that process. Chippewa County is replacing its old communications tower on the sheriff's department building with a new one.

The Chippewa County communications tower is in need of replacement.

"Over the years, the configuration of the property here with the law enforcement center as well as the courthouse structure, with the building of the jail going up three plus stories, that has compromised our signal," says Captain Gene Gutsch, with the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department.

The county's dispatch center relays 9-1-1 calls and messages to local law enforcement and fire departments through the tower.

"When we have stormy weather, coverage isn't as good as it is on a sunny day like today, so this will be much more reliable for us," says Dennis Brown, the Chippewa County Emergency Management Director.

"The new tower will replace this 40-year-old tower, and provide better service for law enforcement."

"With this improved tower height here at the Sheriff's Office, we're just hoping to make that signal even stronger and more consistent," says Captain Gutsch.

The new tower will be almost twice as high as the old one.

"This is great for us, we've got 19 different agencies, a large county, a thousand square miles to cover, so this helps us get out to those corners, and it'll be more reliable," says Brown.

The whole project costs the county $164,000. But over the years, the county may actually make money on the tower.

"We should be able to get some extra revenue by leasing space on the tower. Primarily cellular companies are looking at extra space, so this will be a revenue generator for us," Brown says.

Verizon has already signed on to rent space on the tower, bringing in around $120,000 to the county in the first five years.

The tower is expected to be operational by October.
 
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