Herman Repeater History

 

 

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HERMAN REPEATER HISTORY: As most of you already know, the Herman “67” repeater is now out of service. Here are some further details. The Herman repeater went into service approximately 30 years ago, at a site formerly called the Michigan Bell Microwave hut at Herman. When Michigan Bell abandoned their microwave system at this site, and went to fiber optic cable, it was taken over by the State of Michigan, and was then passed down to the Department of Natural Resources. (DNR). In the early days we paid one-month out of the year’s power bill to maintain our presence there. At some time the payment was stopped, but we remained at the site. Other agencies there included, Northern Michigan University, a microwave network, the Baraga Co. Road Commission, The Native American Indian Community, an ABC television network, and a few others. Over the years it was rumored that eventually this site would be abandoned by the State of Michigan and torn down. That rumor circulated for many years and slowly, one by one, various agencies left this site and were moved to another site. It wasn’t until recently that our Office Of Emergency Measures, (Jack Dueweke) in Houghton received notice that we should remove our equipment as this site was going to be torn down, tower and building within the next 60 days. Jack then gave the directive to remove our equipment and on Monday September 21, 2009, the “67” repeater was turned off, and equipment removed. A confirming letter from the DNR to Jack Duekweke showed (and we quote)……”THE DNR NO LONGER USES THIS TOWER, AND HAS NO BUSINESS REASON TO RETAIN IT. IT HAS ALSO BEEN DEAMED UNSAFE BY DIT PERSONNEL. FURTHER, THE FREQUENCY USED BY THE MICROWAVE LINK TO OUR BARAGA FIELD OFFICE THAT EXISTS ON THIS TOWER TO MONITOR THE LIGHT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO A PAGING COMPANY BY THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION AND IT MUST BE TAKEN OUT OF SERVICE SOON. THEREFORE, THE DIT PLANS TO DECOMMISSION AND REMOVE THIS TOWER.” (The full letter is published following this note.) At this time, Jack, KC8NPI of the OEM in Houghton is asking that all members of the CCRAA be on the lookout for a new tower location, where we might place “67.” In the meantime, he is negotiating with Wisconsin Energy Systems for a site in the town of Covington, which is actually higher than the Herman site. To date, no information has been received from WE Systems.

4 LETTER TO THE OEM IN HOUGHON RE: HERMAN REPEATER: (This letter was received by Jack Dueweke from the DNR of the State of Michigan) Page 1-of-2

ENNIFER M. GRANHOLM REBECCA A HUMPHRIES GOVERNOR DIRECTOR STATE OF MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES September 18, 2009 Mr. Jack Dueweke Emergency Management Coordinator Houghton-Keweenaw Emergency Management 401 E. Houghton Avenue Houghton, Ml 49931 Dear Mr. Dueweke: Thank you for the opportunity to talk with you this morning about the radio equipment your organization has on the Herman Hill tower located in SENE Section 1, T49 N, R33W, L’Anse Township, Baraga County, Michigan. We appreciate your understanding of the situation the state is in with regard to this tower. The tower was originally owned and operated by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), but was transferred to the Michigan Department of Information Technology (DIT) several years ago. The DNR no longer uses this tower, and has no business reason to retain it. it has also been deemed unsafe by DIT personnel. Further, the frequency used by the microwave link to our Baraga Field Office that exists on this tower to monitor the lights, has been given to a paging company by the Federal Communications Commission, and it must be taken out of service soon. Therefore, the DIT plans to decommission and remove this tower. The DNR still owns the land the tower sits on, and for liability reasons, an unsafe tower cannot be allowed to remain on state land. Unfortunately, this land cannot be sold, because the current Michigan Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS) tower is immediately adjacent to this tower and on the same parcel of land. Since this tower has been deemed unsafe, and it cannot . remain on state [and, your agency will be required to remove your equipment by October 31, 2109.] 5 The DIT will consider requests to move your equipment to the nearest MPSCS tower. If you decide to do so, the MPSCS Co-location Coordinator is Mr. Gerald (Buzz) Leach at 517-333-5004 (voice) or 517-490-4148 (cell). You will be required by them to obtain a structural analysis, at your own expense, of the tower being considered to ensure it is capable of handling the additional equipment The current shelter at the MPSCS tower is full, so you would need to construct an additional shelter. Keith J. Charters. Chair • Mary Brown• Hurlay J. Coleman Jr.•• John Madigan.. Timothy L. Nichols.. J.R. Richardson..Frank Wheellake..STEVENS T. MASON BUILDING P.O. BOX 3OO26 LANSING, MICHIGAN 48909-7528 www.michigan.gov/dnr .. (517) 373-2329 Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Outdoors! (Page 2-of-2) Mr. Jack Dueweke Page 2 September 18, 2009 I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you. If I can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me at 517-335-3348. My return address is Department of Natural Resources, Forest, Mineral and Fire Management, PO Box 30452, Lansing. MI 48909. Sincerely, (Signature) Donald J. Johnson Fire Management Specialist Forest, Mineral, & Fire Management 517-335-3348 cc: Mr. Joseph Krenke, DIT Ms. Lynne Boyd, DNR Ms. Stacy Welling, DNR Mr. Michael Paluda, DNR Ms. Debbie Begalle, DNR Mr. Don Mankee, DNR [In accordance with this letter, and by the order of Jack Dueweke, KC8NPI, Emergency Coordinator for Houghton & Keweenaw Counties, we were instructed to remove our radio equipment at Herman ASAP. Chuck Savlolainen, WB8FCY, our Chief of Radio Operations, did remove all of the equipment at Herman on Monday September 21, 2009. Remaining on the tower is 300 feet of 7/8” Heliax transmission line and the antenna at 6 the top of the tower. These are both newly installed just two years ago[. Value of this line and antenna, approximately: $2,900.00.] We would like to recover the feedline and antenna but Houghton County has no funding for us to remove same. A crew from Marquette County is coming up to remove antennas and feedlines of other agencies, but nothing was said about removing ours. It may be up to the radio club to absorb any costs involved…..we just don’t know at this point.)