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LAKE GENEVA

Clear communications: Public safety radio communications tower supported at Cobb Park

Ted Horne honored for service to City of Lake Geneva

In a special June 9 recognition ceremony at City Hall, members of the Lake Geneva Police and Fire Commission honored outgoing commissioner Ted Horne (holding plaque) for his years of community service. Horne’s five-year commission term ended May 1, received a plaque from the Lake Geneva Police and Fire Commission. Pictured, from left, are commissioners Len Jegerski and Chuck Saul, Horne, commission president Jim Connors, and commissioners Spyro Condos and Jay Fairbanks. Additionally, Horne also received a plaque presented by Police Chief Michael Rasmussen and Fire Chief John Peters.

Plans being laid by the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department for the development of a new, state-of-the-art $18 million countywide public safety radio communications system have taken another incremental step toward becoming a reality.

On June 9, the Lake Geneva Police and Fire Commission unanimously approved a motion voicing its support of a Sheriff’s Department request to install a 250-300 foot communications tower at Cobb Park. The motion recommended and encouraged the Lake Geneva City Council to do the same.

Five-acre Cobb Park, 2101 McDonald Rd., is located at the western city limits.

Capt. Todd Neumann, of the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department Communications Division, appeared before the commission to outline the proposed new public safety radio communications system, which will serve not only the sheriff’s department, but also local fire, police and public works departments throughout the 577-square-mile county.

“We’re very excited,” Neumann said, noting planning for the system has been ongoing for some time.

The sheriff’s department is working with Melbourne, Fla.-based L3Harris Technologies, a worldwide military and public safety communications manufacturer, and Marshalltown, Iowa-based critical public safety communications services firm RACON Corp., the nation’s largest Harris dealer.

The Walworth County Sheriff’s Department’s current public safety radio communications system dates to the 1980s, with subsequent improvements and upgrades over the ensuing years.

Neumann said Cobb Park has been identified in system plans as an “ideal location” to place a 250-300 foot tall communications tower in support of the proposed 10-tower simulcasted public safety radio system, noting the park sits on a “very high location” that would be well suited for providing communications coverage to the City of Lake Geneva and neighboring communities, as well as the county as a whole through a countywide network of microwave-linked towers.

“In order to effectively cover the entire county, we need to put the tower locations in strategic locations in high places,” Neumann explained, noting that any tower placement at Cobb Park will likely be a self-supported triangular tower or a monopole tower.

In response to commission questioning, Neumann said it’s hoped that the new public safety radio communications system will be operable by the end of 2024, calling it “a very complex project.”

Horne honoredIn other news at the June 9 meeting, members of the Lake Geneva Police and Fire Commission presented a plaque to outgoing 2017-2022 commissioner Ted Horne in recognition of his “dedicated leadership and support to the City of Lake Geneva Police and Fire Commission and the citizens of our community.”

Horne, whose five-year commission term ended May 1, also received a plaque presented by Police Chief Michael Rasmussen and Fire Chief John Peters for his five years of “dedication, service, devotion and commitment” to their respective City of Lake Geneva emergency services departments.

Other developmentsIn other news on June 9, members of the Police and Fire Commission:

Accepted the resignation of Lake Geneva Police Department Community Service Officer (CSO) Kendra Pease.

Approved the hiring of Jacob Young, Anastazia Kukla and Brandon Gorski for the Lake Geneva Fire Department, pending successful completion of background and medical checks.

Approved the acceptance of $800 in combined donations in support of the fire department from Harriet Schoenberg and Anthony and Barbara Broz.

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