by Larry Patrick
WALSENBURG- Huerfano County could see one or two new radio stations within the next year. The Commissioners by-passed the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Board to deny, and instead approved granting a conditional use permit for construction of a tower in Tyrone Hills east of I-25. Steve and Peggy Bartholomew of Connecticut plan to operate an FM station to serve Huerfano, Las Animas and Pueblo counties. Their studios will likely be located in Walsenburg or Colorado City and possibly eventually employ 8-15 people. The commissioners received updated information from realtor, Jim Roberts and Brenda Bartels, an attorney from Colorado Springs in granting the permit. Planning and Zoning had been concerned about the tower site in a subdivided area of land near some residents and possible safety concerns of a tower. But those concerns were overcome with additional information from Bartels.
The Bartholomews have until November of 2009 to be up and operating. They plan to proceed faster.
Another FM radio station owned by Edward Magnus of Chicago has a deadline of this December to be up and operating. He has a tower already up east of I-25. No updated information was forthcoming on his progress.
The two new towers could provide the county with possible space if needed.