There is some good news to report in regards to the repeater site. As most everyone one knows by now the site lost its AC power source due to catastrophic event at the site this last summer related to the AC power control and distribution. It was thought that soon repairs would be made by the site owners and the repeaters would be back online. But due to budget constraints the site owners chose to delay making necessary repairs until financial resources might be available in the future. So the AC power was and still is not restored.
During the month of December VARC members met with both EMA and Valdosta Utilities leadership to identify a alternative AC power source and ask for permission to relocate repeater equipment into a small shelter that is located inside of the water tank its self. Immediately the Valdosta Utilities leadership was very responsive and supportive of the VARC by giving permission for requests. Upon permission approval technical arrangements were made to proceed.
The plans are during the first quarter of 2012 to install necessary wiring in order to restore AC power to the old VARC repeater shelter. The next part of the plan is to prepare the area inside the tank for both the analog and D-STAR repeater equipment. Since gaining approval both VARC members and non-members have rallied to provide either financial resources or their personal time in support of the project.
The Valdosta and Lowndes County radio amateurs are very grateful to both the EMA and the Valdosta Utilities department for their continued support of the VARC and emergency communications for the community.