| Apr 30, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - April 30, 2009 Update on AFARby Jeff Green

Radio stations are best known for the booming voice of the Deejay, but in recent months the proposed Addington Frontenac Area Radio (AFAR) committee has been making radio by sending email messages back and forth and holding small meetings.

“I didn't realise how involved this would be at first, not even close,” said AFAR committee chair Bob Taylor in an interview earlier this month.

Taylor said that work is progressing on “about four fronts” towards a projected on air date sometime in 2010 for the station.

“Negotiations are continuing with TVO regarding the use of the tower at Bon Echo,” Taylor said, “and we have enlisted Leona Dombrowsky to try and get us a better deal regarding the cost of using the tower, which is owned by the Ministry of Education. We have no problem paying any ancillary costs, but the normal rental fee is $7,500 per year over costs. We want to pay nothing. One way or another, however, the tower is key to our future.”

The 400 foot TVO tower would enable AFAR to send its community radio signal as far as Tweed to the west and almost to Sharbot Lake to the east..

“We really want to get our signal to Sharbot Lake,” said Taylor.

In working through the technical aspects of a modern radio station, the AFAR committee has recently received a boost when Jim Kitchen joined up. Kitchen is a retired CBC TV technician

Committee members have been consulting with other community stations, particularly in Hanover and Amherstview, for advice on how to run a volunteer-based radio station.

“We don't want to re-invent the wheel.” said Taylor, “and the people from community radio are more than willing to share their experiences.”

Issues such as buying new versus used equipment, how to develop a business plan, etc. are also being worked on. As well, plans to incorporate are being finalised.

The station will also need some up front funding. On that score, a grant application for a major Trillium grant is being worked on by AFAR. The next Trillium deadline is July 1st, and results will be announced a couple of months later.

If the grant comes through, and some of the other details are worked out, the air waves could begin ringing out the joyful noise of community radio in northern Frontenac and L&A County next year.

Remember 104.7. That's the proposed frequency for AFAR.

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