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911 communications network dish going up at Fayette airport

| Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A Fayette County 911 communications network dish — not a cell phone tower — will be constructed at the Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport.

Airport authority members and residents Wednesday night questioned whether or not a cell phone tower was expected to be erected at the aviation facility.

John “Bud” Neckeraurer confirmed that Fayette County 911 is in the process of installing a communications network dish as part of an estimated $8 million contract with Motorola.

“This is not a cell phone tower,” he said. “The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) would not allow us to put a cell phone tower at the airport because it would be very dangerous for aircraft. Fayette County plans to install several communications network dishes throughout the county. The one at the airport will serve the Uniontown area.”

Terry and Diane Kriss, who live near the airport, said they were relieved to hear that a cell phone tower was not being constructed at the airport.

“We came to the meeting to find out what's going on,” Terry Kriss said. “We were very concerned about a cell phone tower on airport property. We're pleased to hear that isn't happening.”

Authority member Myrna Giannopoulis said she had contacted the Pennsylvania Bureau of Aviation after she was told that a “tower” was going to be built at the airport.

“I did contact them because I was concerned about what was going on,” Giannopoulis said.

In other business, authority member Bill Gerke was appointed authority chairman at the reorganization meeting.

Newly appointed authority member Joe Maher was named vice chairman. Other officers include Matt Thomas as treasurer and Sam Cortis as secretary.

Authority members also voted to retain Attorney Bill Martin of the Radcliffe & DeHaas law firm as the authority's solicitor.

Michael Baker will continue to serve as the authority's engineer under the terms of a contract.

Following an executive session, the authority approved a 50-cent an hour wage increase for airport lineman Rick Borassi.

Cindy Ekas is a contributing writer.

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