Fairgrounds host to high-wire antenna act

The technician was hoisted up the tower in a chair rather than having to climb.
July 22nd, 2021     Community

People in the vicinity of the Union County Fairgrounds Wednesday morning may have noticed something unusual if they looked up.

Brown’s Tower and Antenna Service of Amory was replacing an antenna at the top of the approximately 350-foot tall tower.

A lightning strike had damaged the antenna used by the Union County Board of Supervisors for communications, as well as knocking out a couple of transformers in the area.

The tower, a familiar sight for most, is about 70 years old and was originally erected for the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol. At the time, the MHP office was nearby, across the street from the National Guard Armory.

It now is used for several county radio services as well as an amateur radio repeater.

Brown has worked on towers 40 years and as high as 2,200 feet throughout the Southeast. Large towers have elevators. Older, smaller towers have a cable to hoist someone to the top, or simply have to be climbed. One estimate was that if one had to climb the fairgrounds tower it would take at least 35 minutes each way (this tower does not have a ladder, by the way).

The old tower, which presents a safety liability as well as being expensive to maintain, will soon be replaced.

Diamond Tower of Texas has approved plans to erect a cell tower nearby for AT&T. It is expected to be considerably shorter than the old tower at about 220 feet, but the radio equipment on the old tower will be transferred to the new one.

The old tower, presumably, will be removed.

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