Commissioners consider communications project

LaHarpe's Harry Lee wants to pursue a grant to install new cell phone and communications towers in strategic places.



August 6, 2021 - 1:34 PM

Harry Lee, representing LaHarpe Communications, talks with Allen County commissioners during a special meeting Thursday about pursuing a grant for cell phone/communications towers. Photo by Trevor Hoag / Iola Register

Allen County is one step closer to improved communications.

During a special county commission meeting Thursday, Harry Lee from LaHarpe Communications shared his plan to pursue a grant that would enable the installation of multiple new cell phone/communication towers in strategic places.

The federal grant at issue involves delivering 5G fiber lines to smaller/rural communities, but the deadline is tight, hence the need for a sudden meeting.

The goal, Lee said, is to place towers in such a way that they cover the entire county, and to “make all towers available to the county for emergency communication.”

“It wouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket,” Lee added, since one alternative plan was focused on obtaining a single large tower instead of multiple small ones.

Lee also highlighted that there would be no cost to the county via a grant-match, either.

“It’d be a game-changer,” he said, of the total project.

There was some concern amongst the commission about opening up the project to other entities who might be interested in getting involved; however, Lee was ultimately given the green light to proceed.

If successful in obtaining the grant, the county and LaHarpe Communications would have a year to build the new network.