CARNATION —The writing is on the wall for Valley 104.9 FM as the popular radio station is at a major crossroad: Find a piece of property to relocate its transmission tower within the next 24 days or shut the doors and sign off the air for the final time.
“Things are kind of a mess right now,” Heather Stark with 104.9 FM, said. “We’ve sent out registered letters to property owners in the area informing them of what we are doing and needing, but so far haven’t received a reply from anyone.”
The search for a new piece of property began back in March when Stark and her people got word the land it had been sitting on for years was up for sale. On June 3, the station got word it had been sold.
“We’ve been we have been told to remove it from the property by July 6, when the sale of the property closes,” Stark said, “But as of now, we’ve been unable to secure another place for it.”
Housing the transmission tower and it’s 40-foot container, which is much like what you’d see on a cargo ship, presents somewhat of an obstacle as they have to be located on a piece of property that is at least 500 feet in elevation in order for the signal to be transmitted, and easily accessible.
With virtually no luck whatsoever with her mailing to area residents, Stark enlisted to help of a local real estate agent. But still no word.
“People need to understand that there is a tax benefit for someone who donates their property to us for the use of housing the transmission tower,” Stark said. “They can deduct the cost they would be able to get for renting the piece of property it would be sitting on.”
The station does have a couple of other options to pursue, but the clock is ticking so they need to secure a place as soon as possible.
“One of things we are hoping to do is make contact with the buyer of the property its currently siting on to see if there is any interest in letting it remain there,” Stark said. “We haven’t been able to do that at this point because we don’t know who that buyer us. We do know the property is expected to close in July — things are still very much up in the air.”
Another possibility, Stark said, is an adjacent lot that is co-owned with a neighbor.
“It’s in the process of being surveyed and split within the two properties so an option might be is to contact that neighbor and ask if the transmitter can be moved down to the unused portion of their property. Since its been next door already they might not object,” Stark said. “We’ve been given the neighbors name and contact info so we’re going to try and get a hold of that person.”
Valley 104.9 FM serves the Carnation, Duvall and Redmond Ridge areas.
Ultimately, Stark said, if no property is found to relocate the transmission tower and container, the radio station will cease to exist.