Tower's ownership in question

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Each winter, a lighted star shines from the radio tower at Cape County Park North. The name of the tower's owner, however, is in the dark.

That's what Dick Knaup learned after being asked by the county commission to identify who is responsible for the tower.

At Monday's county commission meeting, Knaup, the county's emergency management director, said he was waiting to hear back from state officials.

"Nobody knows for sure [who owns the tower]," Knaup said. "There's antennas on there." He said one is owned by the county, one is owned by the city of Cape Girardeau and one by Missouri Department of Conservation.

Knaup said the tower, which stands about 150 feet tall, is near the big lake in the county's north park, across from Memorial Park Cemetery.

Joe Garvey, a forester with the state conservation department, confirmed that the tower was built at least 30 years ago, but couldn't say who owned it.

He said the state's antenna on the tower is used to communicate with field personnel, for fire control work and to relay messages broadcast in Cape Girardeau, Madison or Perry counties.

"We may have actually put the tower up," Garvey said, admitting he could not be sure. "A lot of [towers] we put up ourselves. Some we may outright own the metal structure. Sometimes we lease the ground for the structure and put the metal up ... I suspect we own the tower."

Garvey said the state has "all kinds of arrangements" for such towers, including one in southern Bollinger County which is a cooperative effort with area fire departments.

Knaup told the commissioners he expected to hear back from the state some time today.

pmcnichol@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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