MENOMINEE —  The possibility of taking over ownership of the Bagley Radio Tower was discussed Tuesday by the Menominee County Board of Commissioners.

Bagley Tower is currently owned by the Menominee County Road Commission. It is a radio tower used by not only the road commissioner but also by several Menominee County emergency personnel groups.

However the road commission no longer wants to continue ownership of the property. It is willing to transfer ownership of the tower and the property it is located on to the county at no cost to Menominee County using a quit-claim deed.

“The county road commission will convey the tower, building and property over to us and it would be no cost to the county,” County Administrator Jason Carviou said. “It’d be a trade, we take on the property and the liability and they won’t charge us for the assets that are there.”

Carviou said once the county has ownership of the tower it can either update its radio broadcast to an 800-system or keep with a VHF system. A VHF radio system is already used by the county fire departments but it would require the county to build a new tower.

He said he reached out to the Menominee County Fire Chiefs Association and the 911 Governing Board to see if they recommend one radio signal over the other. Both recommended using a VHF system.

“Up front, using VHF would be cheaper for the county,” Carviou said. “We don’t foresee it going away in the next decade or more so, I think it is a safe bet.”

Carviou said replacing the tower would pay for itself in about 10 years because they wouldn’t have to rent a tower.

“You’re looking at $150,000. We have $281,000 in the budget but it would be $150,000 to replace Bagley Tower and all the equipment and another $50,000 to replace the equipment on the other towers and do necessary maintenance,” Carviou said.

The project would be about $250,000 total but Menominee County has applied for a grant that would pay for half of it, he said. The county will learn if it received the grant by the end of the year.

“Either we take over the Bagley Tower or the Road Commission will dismantle it and get rid of everything themselves,” Carviou said. By taking over ownership of the property, Menominee County will not lose a site to build the new tower.

The action is expected to be voted on at the next county board meeting Dec. 10.

In other action: 

¦ A resolution to honor former-treasurer Diane Lesperance passed unanimously. She retired Oct. 18 after 11 years of service to the county.

¦ Resolutions to authorize the ballot languages for two proposed millages passed. The first millage would be for .625 mills to fund 911 and Central Dispatch. The second millage would be .375 mills to fund the Menominee County Library. Together, they would equal 1 mill and will appear separately on the March 10 ballot.

¦ The county board supported a relocation of the Menominee County Fair. The action was specifically to show support for the idea but does not indicate permission from the county.