Mon County gets new communication tower, possibly broadband expansion

MONONGALIA COUNTY, W.Va. – A new communications tower that could evolve into a pilot broadband is planned in Mon County, according to commissioner Tom Bloom.

The 480-foot, 15-year old tower on Catherine’s Knob was demolished on Monday and commissioners have approved a 340-foot replacement that will cost $561,655.50. Commissioners also approved another $14,950 for engineering and site layout.

“It just crumbled right under which made the clean up a lot easier and it’s already cleaned up,” Bloom said,” We’re looking to build this thing by January or February.”

Broadband connectivity has been problem in the Blacksville area, that has been only been validated by workers and students attempting to complete responsibilities remotely during the pandemic.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito has championed broadband expansion with her Capito Connect plan. In October of 2019, Capito announced $4.9 million for fiber optic improvements for residents in portions of Preston, Marion and Monongalia Counties.

“Both Capito and Manchin have talked and this is their priority, the governor has mentioned it,” Bloom said,” So, why use this as a pilot project? You cannot run cable out there.”