Alan Greager has been in the business of putting up translator towers for more than 20 years and has accumulated a lot of tower parts in that time. They're cluttering up his Montrose, Colo., yard and he's decided it's time to put them to use.
And two of them are earmarked for Craig.
Greager has applied to the Federal Communications Commission for a permit to construct two translator towers near Craig, one that will rebroadcast KMGJ, a soft-rock station based in Grand Junction, and another that will rebroadcast KMOZ, a country and western station.
Residents shouldn't anticipate listening to the soft sounds of Magic or the hard twang of the Moose anytime soon. Greager says the permits to build the towers are, best case scenario, six months away.
"I'm fighting hard to get the construction permits," he said. "It's always a fight. It's a nightmare."
His goal is to begin construction next summer.
Greager has published his intent and said he's received no comments -- good or bad -- about his proposal.
Greager is the owner of Professional Antenna, Tower and Translator Service in Montrose and an independent broadcast engineer. He said he's constructed thousands of translators across the nation.
"I could build these things in my sleep," he said.
FCC regulations prohibit a radio station from erecting a translator outside its broadcast area, but anyone can re-broadcast a radio station's signal, as long as they are not profiting from it.
"It's just to provide a community service," he said. "There's no way I can profit from this."
Greager said he's not erecting the translators for profit but because of his belief in the technology and rural communities.
"Profit is not what I'm after," he said. "I'm after providing a service to rural communities that isn't usually provided."
Greager said he already has most of the parts for the translators he's proposing building and the only investment will be his time and the ongoing operations and maintenance.
"I know that's kind of a hard concept to understand in this day and age," he said. "It's something I enjoy doing and that's that."
Greager personally owns seven translators in the Montrose area.
He submitted approximately 20 applications to erect towers all over the Western Slope and said he chose Craig because he has family and friends in the area.
"I have a very good feeling about it," he said. "I like the two radio stations and I like the communities. It's that simple."
He's applied for construction permits for translator towers in Green River, Moab, Rifle, Glenwood Springs, Battlement Mesa and Montrose.
Greager is on the board of the National Translator Association and it's his hope to keep the technology alive and spreading.
"My heart and soul is into salvaging and trying to promote translator broadcast."
Should Greager's plan come into fruition, residents will be able to pick up KMGJ on 98.9 FM and KMOZ on 95.7 FM.
"There's miles and miles and miles of paperwork in between now and then," Greager said.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 210 or by e-mail at email@example.com.