If you travel through Jackson County or live there you may have been on the receiving end of dropped cell phone calls and spotty service. In a matter of months, that inconvenience may be a thing of the past.
The construction of two Verizon cell towers was approved at Tuesday nights County Commission meeting and the benefits of the towers reach even farther than the area it will cover. The towers will be located in the rural areas of the county. One in the northern area near the state line, and another near the Jackson/Bay County line on the east side of Fairview Road.
In order for the towers to move into the county, commissioner’s negotiated Jackson County emergency services to be able to use the structure. The exact cost is still under negotiation. For a reasonable cost, first responders will take advantage of extended radio coverage in rural areas. This will enable dispatchers to communicate between ambulances, officers and fire trucks with stronger radio to radio communication.
According to Jackson County cell user, Jeff Kimbrel, time and efficient communication is of the essence in rural areas, "Almost everybody above the age of 12 has a cell phone and just for instance if a child is out riding an all terrain vehicle and gets a little bit far from home, no cell service, can’t call mom or dad. It will really be beneficial to have coverage and people will see that over time."
According to County Administrator, Ted Lakey, the towers should be up and working within the next 12 months.