by Dan Mundt
The Crawford County Board of Supervisors provided an update on the county’s Land Mobile Radio (LMR) system at the board meeting on Tuesday.
In November, supervisors approved the purchase of plots of land in Vail, Manila, Dow City and Charter Oak for the placement of radio towers that will significantly improve radio reception for law enforcement, EMS and firefighters responding to calls throughout the county.
Supervisor Ty Rosburg said Rey Freeman, the consultant hired by the county for the completion of the LMR system, worked on the budgetary and procedural elements necessary to plan the construction of the four towers.
“He should present it to us in a few weeks,” Rosburg said.
GSS Inc., of Urbandale, is working on soil/archaeological surveys of the sites, he said.
Rosburg said Freeman reviewed the availability of major vendors for building radio towers.
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Inflation and material availability are concerns, but Saber Industries, located in Sioux City, is able to obtain materials, Rosburg said.
Supervisors will allocate funds for the construction of the tower during the current budget process, he said.
The funds will flow through the Crawford County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) budget.
The EMA account has significant fund balances from previous years, according to County Auditor Terri Martens and Chairman Kyle Schultz.
Schultz said a “spitting” estimate of construction costs is that each site will require $100,000 to $150,000 to build the tower.
Another $100,000 per site will be needed for equipment.
He said that these expenses could be spread over two budget years.
The survey and purchase process is complete for the Dow City Tower site, Rosburg said.
The other three projects are in progress; the contracts were written so that the purchase would not occur if an investigation revealed a reason why the county could not build on a site.
Schultz said he hopes the system will be up and running by July 2023.