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Cape County gets funds to move emergency communications tower

Cape Girardeau County will get a new emergency communications tower installed atop a City of Jackson water tower behind Mondi on the north side of town.

The current tower, attached to the old Cape County Courthouse, will be removed.

This $73,042 project will be funded by the Delta Regional Authority. The DRA will pay $55,442, and the County will provide matching funds of 17,600.

The DRA funding for this project was announced Sept. 17, along with three other projects in Missouri, all totaling a $671,389 investment.

Cape County has been wanting a new emergency communications tower since 2018 when a company inspected the tower and deemed it inadequate, said Cape Girardeau County Emergency Management Director Mark Winkler. “They wouldn’t climb it any further and recommended removal.”

Advice was sought from the Federal Communications Commission, and the new location atop the water tower was recommended by an FCC representative.

“We’ll have excellent propagation,” said Winkler. Propagation is how far a signal can travel, he explained.

The tower is used mainly by the rural fire protection districts, to get the page out and to keep the districts in touch with each other while on fire calls.

Now that funding has been acquired, the next step is for the County to send out requests for proposals and then choose a bidder. The demolition of the old tower and the construction of the new one will be handled as separate projects.

Winkler said he was very excited to receive the federal funding for this project. He was grateful for all the assistance and support he received from various agencies and individuals, including Margaret Yates of the SEMO Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission who wrote the grant request, Jackson Fire and Rescue, the City of Jackson, the County Commissioners, and Lesley Rone of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt’s office.

“The Delta Regional Authority’s $671,389 investment into four critical projects will strengthen economic success in Missouri by improving vital infrastructure and creating opportunities to foster workforce development,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell. “These investments highlight the importance of local and regional public-private partnerships in realizing the long-term success of infrastructure, business, and workforce projects to spur job growth and ultimately improve business competitiveness in the region.

“I would like to thank Gov. [Mike] Parson, Sen. Blunt, Sen. [Josh] Hawley, and Congressman [Jason] Smith for their continued support and commitment to the Delta Regional Authority and our work to create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of those residing in our region,” Caldwell added.

“These Delta Regional Authority investments will enhance safety, improve infrastructure, and prepare people for in-demand jobs, all of which are a part of enhancing the quality of life in local communities,” said Sen. Blunt. “I’ll continue working to ensure DRA has the resources it needs to support critical projects throughout our state.”

“It’s great to see the Delta Regional Authority is investing more than $670,000 in job training and much-needed infrastructure projects in Southeast Missouri. This investment in Missouri communities and good-paying jobs will go a long way to serve our state,” said Sen. Hawley.

“I’m proud to have part-nered with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) to secure funding for these critical investments in southern Missouri,” said U.S. Rep. Smith. “These projects will help create future jobs, enhance public safety in our area, improve our infrastructure and develop superior workforce training for rural Missourians – all things attractive to folks who want to call Missouri home. I’m so glad that the Trump Administration, through the DRA, continues to prioritize rural Americans.”

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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