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Coming Soon To Airwaves: Township Emergency AM Radio Station

A $73,000 contract to create an AM radio station for the township was awarded to a Michigan-based company by the Township Council.

The station – the frequency of which has not yet been determined – is mainly envisioned to serve as a way to reach township residents with important information during emergencies, especially during widespread power outages, Mayor Phil Kramer said.

But it could also be used to provide information about the township on a regular basis, according to a memo from Justin Heyman, teh township’s information technology director.

The $73,018 contract was awarded at the council’s Aug. 8 meeting to Information Station Specialists of Zeeland, Mich. A total of $69,168 of the contract is for equipment, while $3,849 is for the first year’s maintenance, according to Heyman’s memo.

The radio broadcasts will also be streamed on the Internet, according to Heyman’s memo.

Kramer said the idea for a station was broached to him by Ellen Meyers, a Society Hill resident he met while canvassing for Democratic committee candidates.

“She presented the idea that during (Superstorm) Sandy, she never heard from the mayor, and that we should have some way of reaching out when all power is lost,” he said.

Kramer said he discussed the idea with Township Manager Robert Vornlocker, who suggested the township create its own radio station.

“Franklin had applied for a license from the FCC years ago, and we still had the license,” he said. “We got it priced out and put it in the last budget.”

Kramer said antennas would be placed on existing structures.

“We could be broadcasting now when we think the South Middlebush Road construction will end,” Kramer said. “It’s just another way of reaching out.”

Kramer said he did not know when the station would go live.

 

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