By Mary Smith
Weathersfield Township trustees have approved several measures for erecting a new 185-foot communications tower behind the township administration building on Prospect Street.
The tower and new radio equipment are being funded through a $495,000 Department of Justice grant secured by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-13th, four years ago, township Administrator Dave Rouan said.
Total expenditures approved were $326,568.
The cost includes new mobile and portable radios for the police and fire departments, bases and repeaters.
Trustee Gil Blair said the new tower “will give better coverage.”
A new tower was needed because the tower used by the township will no longer be available. The township has been working with the city of Niles, which dispatches 911 calls for the township, on the upgrade. The city’s cost will be around $55,000, Rouan said.
Trustees approved paying Kreidler Construction of Poland $35,152 for two parts of the project, laying the concrete foundation and grounding the system.
A bid of $56,241 from McCarthy Systems Co., Poland, was approved for construction of the metal, free-standing tower, and constructing a shelter next to the tower for placement of all radio equipment to send and receive signals, the antenna and miscellaneous materials.
A bid from Staley Communication Inc. of Boardman for $225,619 was approved for the radio equipment.
An engineering proposal from MS Consultants of Youngstown for $9,556 was approved for the construction administration and inspection of the project.
In other business this week, trustees approved a memorandum of understanding with Lordstown for hazardous-materials calls, in which each fire department will continue to help the other respond to hazardous spills. Blair noted the agreement is a cost saver for the township, because each department complements the other in the equipment that is needed.
Larger or more toxic spills are still assisted by Trumbull County Hazmat or Mahoning County’s team under mutual agreements already in place.
Blair noted that 14 township firefighters have recently completed hazmat- technician training, adding to other firefighters who have the training.
A small group of residents attended the meeting to discuss the expected start of hydraulic fracturing of a well in Lordstown, at a site next to the Westwood mobile home park, in the township. The work is expected to start about May 20, Blair said.
Residents asked if the police and fire departments were prepared if problems arose from the drilling the new well. They were told that they had been on the site and were ready.