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New site for radio towers OK with residents

October 03, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

GREENCASTLE, PA. - Antrim Township officials did not take action on the proposed new location for WHGT Christian radio towers during a radio tower conditional use hearing Tuesday night, but the 10 residents at the hearing supported the new tower location on 8722 North Rabbit Road in Greencastle.

The township's planning commission will make a recommendation about the radio tower location at its meeting on Nov. 5. The recommendation will then go to the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors for review during its Nov. 6 meeting and by Nov. 13, the board of supervisors will have to have a written decision, according to Solicitor John Lisko.

In April, the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors granted conditional use for the previous location of the two radio towers, near the intersection of Clayhill and Angle roads in the township.

However, the Rev. Larry Aikens of Emmanuel Baptist Temple in Hagerstown, who hopes to get the Christian station on air by next summer, searched for a new location because he found the township's conditions to be "unfavorable" and felt that the neighbors did not want the towers there.

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Conditions included fencing and periods in which broadcasting would be prohibited. The supervisors also said they would hold $100,000 of the developer's money for the first year of operations.

The location on North Rabbit Road is on a 5.68-acre portion of Harold R. and Ellen M. Burkholder's 113-acre farm.

"We believe the site is excellent," said Matthew McCormick, an attorney with the Federal Communications Commission, adding that the towers will be unobtrusive because of their relatively short height.

While the nearest residence to the previous location was 300 feet, the new location is 1,200 feet from the nearest residence.

Ken and Bonnie Shockey, residents of a home that is 2,240 feet from the proposed location of the 15 kilowatt radio towers, were present at the meeting and had no objections to the towers.

Bonnie Shockey asked whether her residence was within the boundaries of a blanketing contour.

If a residence is within a blanketing contour of radio towers, any radio frequency interference that would occur in that region would be corrected by the Federal Communications Commission, McCormick said.

"It is very likely that there will be no interference," McCormick said.

Charles Cooper, an engineer from Florida, said that 30 dwellings were within the blanketing contour of the new location on North Rabbit Road.

Supervisors Curtis Myers and Sam Miller asked if the developer would be willing to post money for the first year of operations in case of any electronic interference. Attorney Steve Patterson said he would not advise it to Aikens, but that it was ultimately up to Aikens.

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