The Dutch Fork Amateur Radio Group has been authorized to use the town hall room for their meetings and to help the communication process during natural disasters and accidents.
At Little Mountain’s town council meeting on Tuesday night at town hall, council members favored the the group using the location. The town gave the group a written lease and they also have $1 million in liability insurance.
Mayor Buddy Johnson did not vote because of his connection to the group.
At the meeting, Jack Jackson from the group spoke briefly about the group which he says does not receive any government money and has 37 members with people from in and around Newberry County. The group relies on donations as well as its members.
Johnson says that the community does need emergency backup communication methods for when some sort of natural disaster happens.
The group responds to natural disasters and accidents that happen in the area and help provide back up communication when local communications go down.
Jackson says that Newberry County is typical of any small community without a backup emergency communication who relies on people like the S.C. Law Enforcement Division.
He says that this has worked as well as the work from Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster, but it can be overwhelming at times to those people.
He does point out that Newberry is not as bad as other counties in reference to the assistance and disasters.
Jackson says that this is a “fabulous thing for the state of South Carolina” and the group has just acquired a new generator to use for the town hall building.
Johnson says that the town wants to develop a plan for the residents so that when an extended power outage, disaster, nuclear evacuation or other sort of accident happens, the radio group will be there to have a back up communication aid for law enforcement, local government agencies and other first responders.
The radio group has a number of transmission modes, including AM, FM, single slide band, digital and other modes that they can operate in case of an emergency, according to Johnson.