Starke EMA Finds Solution to Koontz Lake Emergency Radio Woes


The Starke County Emergency Management Agency has found a solution to emergency communication issues in the northwest corner of the county. Interference from other antennas on top of the grain elevator at the Starke County Co-Op in Hamlet has been creating problems for the Koontz Lake Volunteer Fire Department for the past couple of years.

EMA Director Jacob Lippner told the county commissioners Monday the easiest solution is to add a receiver in Koontz Lake, which will allow the fire department to speak to dispatch and other emergency agencies. Moving the transmitter itself is not a viable option, according to the vendor, because it would require approval by the FCC and a reconfiguration of the county’s entire system. The vendor adds the proposed solution carries a 95 percent guarantee.

The commissioners agreed to the nearly $14,000 cost, which will be covered from the EMA’s budget, and asked that the installation be completed within the next few weeks. The vendor also agreed to delay billing by 30 days to ensure the process works. If it doesn’t, the county will not be charged.

The commissioners also agreed to pay for state-mandated emergency radio frequency updates for the sheriff’s office and other emergency responders from the EMA budget.