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Mars Hill Wants to Move Future Station

COLD BROOK — Although the Mars Hill Network gained FCC approval to build a new FM station in Herkimer County in 2008, the project is going through another round of scrutiny from the Commission. That’s because the Syracuse-based religious broadcaster wants to change the transmission site for the new station.

In yesterday’s “Daily Digest,” the FCC announced that it has accepted for filing, a “minor modification to a construction permit” submitted by Mars Hill on December 10. According to the Form 340 filed by Mars Hill, the future station would remain in Herkimer County, it would continue to name Cold Brook as its community of license, and it would remain at 91.1 FM. But, the station would transmit from a different tower location, with a different tower height and a different power level.

The original CP calls for the station to transmit at 1,350 watts from an antenna located 61 meters above average terrain, from a tower located southwest of Cold Brook proper. The proposed modification lowers the power to 560 watts, but boosts the antenna height to 143 meters. The application includes a map showing the projected contours of the original and proposed signals (on the map, “NEWC” is the original and “Prop” is the proposal).

The FCC has the modification listed as “accepted for filing,” meaning that the Commission doesn’t see any problems with the plan. But, as per policy, the FCC must allow 30 days for public comment. In most cases, applications that make it through the 30-day window without any public objections are granted approval to proceed.

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