Emergency tower, schools’ crisis plan on public safety agenda

A western paging system tower to assist local fire and rescue on 911 calls and other emergencies, which pending public hearing could be erected at a height of 85 feet along Woodward Road near Sperryville, as well as the impact of the Nor’easter that walloped Rappahannock County on March 2 with hurricane force winds, will be the subject of this evening’s first 2018 quarterly meeting of the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee.

County Supervisors Ron Frazier and Christine Smith met with members of the public, fire and rescue officials, and a tower representative earlier this month to continue discussions on the emergency tower, which appears destined for the western portion of the county surrounding Sperryville, where radio reception is difficult for first responders.

The likely location for the tower, which will also be discussed at Monday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting, would be a site that AT&T had been interested in several years ago.

Other items on the agenda, according to Art Candenquist, interim Emergency Services Coordinator for Rappahannock County, include updating the Rappahannock County Public Schools’ Crisis Management Plan, including a related planned “drill,” an emergency generator update for Rappahannock County High School, and a Red Cross agreement to use the high school as a designated emergency shelter.

There are also landline issues with Verizon to be discussed, updating a letter sent by the county to the State Corporation Commission.

The meeting will be held at the Rappahannock County Courthouse this evening, March 29, immediately following the Local Emergency Planning Committee annual meeting that is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Any issues from the public will he heard at the meeting.

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John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at editor@rappnews.com.