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New Location Found for Digital Radio Tower After Last August's Demolition

The City of Covington voted Tuesday night to execute an agreement with the Kenton County Fiscal Court to locate a digital radio tower in a different part of Devou Park.
Since then, Kenton County emergency radios have bounced from a temporary installment at Mt. Echo Park, where the county leased land from the City of Cincinnati.
But that has resulted in dead spots and garbled transmissions, as well as dropped and missed calls, Covington fire chief Mark Pierce said.
"That tower being in that area is pretty mission critical for us - not just us but for anyone operating in the river valley," Pierce said. "Without that there, our coverage is diminished."
The new tower will be located adjacent to the sixth hole of the Devou Park Golf Course, near the Ludlow-Covington line. It was determined that that location would work best for emergency radios, and is better than the previous location, which was just hundreds of feet away from the Children's Home of Northern Kentucky, which had to be evacuated during last August's incident.

The county was already looking for a new home for the tower, which was on land owned by the children's home when a tree fell on its guy-wires.
The new site is a piece of elevated ground to the south of that site, in a wooded area west of Home Road and north of Montague Road. A small access road will be built off of Montague.
City Manager David Johnston said neither the City of Covington nor Devou Park had any future plans to develop the area for a recreation purpose.
"It's really the best site," interim City Solicitor Michael Bartlett told the city commission in a presentation last week.
The agreement does not allow any private, third-party companies to use space on the tower for commercial purposes, such as cellular service. But the agreement could be amended in the future if such use becomes feasible, legal and appropriate.
County Administrator Joe Shriver told the city commission last week that geotech borings had already been done at the site and that the county would move quickly to build the three-sided, free-standing tower so it could be tested before the trees lost their leaves this fall.
Johnston said the city and county both knew that they had to move quickly on the tower to protect both residents and emergency personnel.
"We've developed a good collaborative relationship with the county that continues to grow stronger," Johnston said. "This is another example of how government entities can and should work together to help the people they serve."
-Staff report
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