“We’re making a lot of progress,” Meadows told commissioners.
Western Pocahontas would not allow the county to cross a road on their property in order to construct the tower, Meadows said. The land company wanted the county to sign an agreement that the tower would be moved if the company wanted the minerals in the area.
“We can’t do that,” Meadows said, adding it would be cost prohibitive to move the tower once it has been installed.
“I’m really disappointed with Western Pocahontas,” Meadows said. “I tried in good faith to work with them. They just would not work with us.”
The county is building its own road to the tower, Meadows explained, and once it is up the company cannot extract minerals from under the property.
The state still has to complete environmental and historical studies of the property before construction can begin.
While improving cell phone service in the area will be a plus, Meadows said, it is not the main reason for the tower.
Improving emergency communications — especially between police and fire departments — is the main reason for the tower, he emphasized.
The impacted area includes Twin Falls Resort State Park and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, where there is currently no cell phone signal.
Additionally, the new tower will provide cell service in Maben, Ravencliff, McGraws, and Glen Rogers.
Once this tower is up, Sen. Richard Browning proposed beginning the process to construct a communications tower on Jesse Mountain, then another on Huff Mountain.
In other business, commissioners approved the purchase of two new four-wheel drive vehicles for the Sheriff’s Department.
“It’s the time of year again to ask for vehicles,” Sheriff Randall Aliff told commissioners.
Because of the harsh winter, Aliff said his department needs more four-wheel drive vehicles.
The department will purchase two Explorers valued at just under $22,000 each after July 1.
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