(Aspen, CO) One of Pitkin County’s most sought-after mountaintop communications sites has been redeveloped and will be ready for occupancy November 15th. A new climate controlled building and three new towers have been built on top of Crown Mountain, which is above the Emma School house in mid-valley near Basalt. This new facility will serve the residents of Pitkin County and City of Aspen along with the residents of Basalt for all emergency communication. This includes 911 emergency services along with police and fire communication. Eagle County also occupies the site with emergency communication equipment for the Frying Pan area. This facility is sought-after by wireless communication companies for cell and internet service for this valley.
“If a wireless company leases the tower and building space now available on Crown Mountain, it could significantly improve cell phone and internet service to places like West and East Sopris Creek, Missouri Heights and the Mid-Valley. It can also serve as a re-lay facility for other areas up valley for increase coverage” Says Communication Site Manager Dan Chicoine.
The structure on the Crown Mountain site has room for multiple providers and is equipped with a backup generator in case of electrical failure. Pitkin County is currently requesting proposals from wireless service providers to lease space on Crown Mountain. This site is the first of the county’s communications sites to be upgraded and re-developed for this type of service.
Crown Mountain was first developed in the 1970’s for TV and Radio service for the valley. This new facility will also accommodate the new TV digital broadcast conversion scheduled for November 2009. The previous building on Crown Mountain was too small for all the new demands and in dire need of repair. The towers were deemed unsafe and designated to be the first to be replaced by the Master Plan study from 2006.
“The Translator Master Plan calls for making similar upgrades to the other sites as funds in the budget become available.” Chicoine said.
The Translator Master Plan can be seen on the county’s website: www.aspenpitkin.com. Pitkin County currently has seven mountaintop sites that broadcast TV and Radio signals. They are located on Lower Red Mountain and Upper Red Mountain serving Aspen and Snowmass, Williams Hill serving Watson Divide and Woody Creek, Jackrabbit Ridge serving Snowmass with Radio only, Thomasville serving the upper Frying Pan Valley and Elephant Mountain serving the Crystal River Valley. Sunlight Mountain in Garfield County plays a key role not only for Pitkin County’s translator systems but also for all communications throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.