MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A new communications tower that could evolve into a pilot broadband project is being discussed in Monongalia County, according to Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom.
A 480-foot, 15-year old tower on Catherines Knob in western Monongalia County was demolished last week and county commissioners have approved a 340-foot replacement that will cost more than $560,000. Commissioners also approved another $14,950 for engineering and site layout.
“It just crumbled right under which made the clean up a lot easier and it’s already cleaned up,” Bloom said. “We’re looking to build this thing by January or February.”
Bloom and others hope the tower can be used for wireless internet in a section of the county where it’s very difficult to extend cable.
“Both Capito and Manchin (U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin) have talked that this is their priority, the governor has mentioned it,” Bloom said. “So, why not use this as a pilot project? You cannot run cable out there.”
County officials said broadband connectivity has been problem in the Blacksville area and that has been validated by workers and students attempting to complete responsibilities remotely during the pandemic.