SIDNEY — A conditional use permit was granted to Speelman Electric for a Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS) wireless telecommunications tower by the Sidney Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday.
MARCS is the wireless network used to dispatch police, fire and emergency services communications. The new 240-feet high tower will replace a previous tower at 1001 St. Marys Road in the general industrial district. The city of Sidney has already purchased the MARCS radios.
Ohio MARCS representative Dick Miller said the new tower will be in place within 90 days; they were just waiting for the approval to move forward. He said the previous tower had structural issues and has already been removed. Miller told the board currently there are over 100,000 radios in Ohio on the MARCS radio system. He said the monthly user fee is $10 per month per radio.
When asked if it will be for city or county agencies, Miller said it covers both, but the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office will not be operating on the MARCS system.
Commercial wireless networks are not be permitted to co-locate on the tower because it is a safety and emergency services system.
Board member James Weaver was absent and was excused by the board.
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