City of Bethel awarded grant for public safety communication tower

The State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development Division of Community and Regional Affairs has announced in a letter that the City of Bethel has been appropriated a FY 2024 Designated Legislative Grant of $500,000 for the purpose of a new public safety communication tower.

The letter, dated June 28th, 2023 was sent to former City Manager Pete Williams.

The City of Bethel requested a new tower in their priorities for the SFY 2023 State of Alaska Capital Budget. The item was ranked #2 on their list for $500,000 on Resolution 23-01 which passed on January 10th of this year.

Currently the City of Bethel rents tower space from the KYUK radio station for its public safety radio communication antennas attached to the KYUK Radio Station tower. Its base station equipment is housed inside a GCI communication shack at the base of the tower.

The City pays $1,700 a month to KYUK Radio Station for tower space and over $400 a month to GCI to provide power and store its base station equipment in a heated shack.

“The City of Bethel believes that constructing a new communication tower on city police station property is the preferred option in order to be able to control, protect, and fully utilize the tower strictly for public safety communications,” states Resolution #23-01.

DOWL has since completed the design for a 90-foot-tall lattice tower supported by three pilings, as they recommended, and this design is ready for construction. The expected cost of constructing a new communication tower on police station property is estimated to be $500,000.

Bethel City Council passed Ordinance 23-03(c) to amend the City of Bethel Fiscal Year 2024 Capital Improvement Plan to include the grant during their August 8th, 2023 regular meeting.

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