February 19, 2013 at 3:09 PM
SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ - The Federal Communications Commission has approved a license for a community access radio station to be used by Scotch Plains and Fanwood to broadcast emergency and other information.
Both Scotch Plains Mayor Kevin Glover and Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr announced they had applied for the license at their respective inaugurations on January 1, 2013. On February 16, 2013, the FCC granted the local access community license jointly to the two municipalities. The main purpose is to broadcast emergency information to citizens in the event of power, cable and other outages.
Plans are under way to secure the necessary equipment to program the station and transmit the signal. Activation is now scheduled for May, 2013, at which time listeners may tune to 530 AM to hear the broadcasts.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to offer this service to our citizens,” said Mayor Glover. “It was the last available license in this area. We submitted our application immediately after Super Storm Sandy, giving us a leg-up on other applicants.”
"The radio station gives us another tool to communicate effectively with our residents," said Mayor Mahr. "In the event of a power outage that cuts off cable and web access, residents will be able to use an AM portable or car radio and tune into 530 to hear regular updates on conditions impacting the communities. We learned during Sandy that the more ways we can communicate during times of crisis, the better."
While emergency broadcast will be the primary mission of the station, it will also serve during non-emergencies to broadcast community activities.
Both Mayors touted the station as a shared service at a time when they are discussing a shared police department and other services to save money for taxpayers of both towns.
The Mayors also support getting the Board of Education involved in the station project.