Eau Claire New Towers

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jpjohn

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From WEAU TV website:

New towers will improve emergency services


The city of Eau Claire will discuss taking the next step to upgrade and install new emergency communication towers Monday night.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Some of the tallest structures in Eau Claire could soon get even taller.

The city of Eau Claire will discuss taking the next step to upgrade and install new emergency communication towers Monday night.

Four towers in the city could be added onto, improving calls to 911 across Eau Claire County.

“The FCC put out a mandate that all public safety frequencies have to be narrowbanded. When they do that, our signal doesn't go as far,” said Pam McInnis, the Director of the Eau Claire Emergency Communications Center.

So Eau Claire will have to update its towers.

That involves replacing towers at Mount Tom and Mount Washington Parks, and installing new equipment on to the Pinehurst Water Reservoir and the Oakwood Hills Water Tower.

“I know it will be through federal funding. So there won't be a tremendous burden on the local taxpayers,” said Eau Claire City Council Member David Klinkhammer.

John LeBrun, the city of Eau Claire’s Information Services Manager, said the new structures will change the skyline.

“Because of the new equipment the towers have to be taller, and we have to have bigger facilities on the ground to support the new radios,” LeBrun said.

The Eau Claire Emergency Communications Center is where your call goes when you dial 911 in Eau Claire County.

Communication Center Director Pam McInnis said switching to the new towers will greatly improve communication with officers and firefighters when they’re out on a call.

“We have certain areas we've identified as poor compared to other areas. When you get narrowband it's going to get even worse. So it's going to allow us to improve the spots where our coverage isn't as good,” McInnis said.

Klinkhammer said in the future, the city could lease the towers for other communications.

“Certainly cell phone and other data technology will need more coverage,” Klinkhammer said.

LeBrun said there will be a public hearing about the tower changes at the City Council meeting on Mon. April 23.



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