No agreement on the books

Brandon Johnson

Moffat County has no legal right to have a building on top of Sandrocks and probably never did.

County commissioners and Moffat County Attorney Kath–leen Turner discussed the status of the Sandrocks communications site at Tuesday’s commissioners meeting. Sandrocks is an area of bluffs north of town.

Turner said there is no written agreement between the county and Qwest, who owns the property on top of Sandrocks.

The county has had a small building housing communications equipment on the site since at least the 1980s, always assuming there was an agreement between the property owner and the county.

If there is an agreement, no one from Qwest or the county can find it.

But, Turner said, the lack of a written agreement doesn’t mean the county has to take its equipment off the site.

“Nobody from Qwest has said ‘you need to get off,'” Turner said.

Sandrocks isn’t the only communication site where the county doesn’t have a written use-agreement. There’s no agreement for Cedar Mountain and Baker’s Peak, where the county also has communications towers.

Commissioners said Tuesday the county needs a formal agreement with Qwest and the private property owners on Baker’s Peak and Cedar Mountain.

“We need to go ahead and try to put an agreement together with Qwest so we have that available to us,” Commissioner Darryl Steele said.

With emergency responders switching from a VHF radio signal to an 800 megahertz signal, the commissioners and Turner questioned whether the county would need the Sandrocks site, which is equipped for VHF, not 800 megahertz.

But Moffat County Emer–gency Manager Larry Dalton said it was a good idea to keep the site, in part because it will allow Moffat County emergency responders to communicate with other counties.

“The communication aspect is moving so fast we don’t know what we will need or what we won’t need,” Dalton said.

Craig police and local TV channel K27 use the Sandrocks site.

K27 has a microwave and an antenna on Sandrocks. It had another antenna on Sandrocks, but it blew down during a windstorm in April.

K27 owner Jerry Thompson said the station also broadcasts from Cedar Mountain, but Sandrocks is its primary broadcast site.

The electric bill for the site is in the county’s name, but commissioners decided Tuesday to bill the city and K27 for electricity.

Turner said she will draft a letter in the next week or two telling K27 and the city they have 30 days to put the site’s electric bill in their names, maintain the equipment at Sandrocks and draft a use agreement with the county.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031 or

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