Viewers Concerned 18 Story High Rise in Downtown Fargo Could Block Prairie Public’s TV Signal
People voiced their concerns about the project at a town hall meeting
FARGO, N.D. — Prairie Public has been broadcasting from downtown Fargo since 1985, but a proposed 18–story high rise threatens to block the station’s signal.
“As soon as I heard about this possibility and I told my kid, she jumped up and said ‘we have to do something about this, I want to go to the meeting,’ and she’s 12, so it’s not just toddlers that we’re affecting here, it’s teenagers, adults,” said Mindy Grant de Herrera of Fargo.
Prairie Public has been working with the Kilbourne Group, the City of Fargo and a third party contractor to come up with a way to deal with the interference.
“We’ve been looking at re-positioning their current system. So, trying to broadcast in a different direction, there are challenges associated with that as well. We ultimately could be faced with the same scenario 10 years down the road when another building gets built in the downtown area,” said Keith Leier, the Project Manager for Block 9.
Possible solutions could cost the station $300,000 to $500,000 to remedy the situation.
Prairie Public President John Harris says there is no ideal solution, but the answer might be dictated by dollars and cents.
“If The Kilbourne Group says they won’t help us in anyway financially, our decision might be much different than if they say they’re willing to fund it,” said Harris.
Harris says the list of solutions from the third party contractor and the city might be coming soon.
For Prairie Public’s supporters, the choice to come to the meeting to defend the station and its future broadcasts was simple.
“It’s a media source I know I can trust my children with, and that it’s going to back–up the morals and values I have for my community, and will reinforce what I want to teach my children and what I want to instill in them,” said Grant de Herrera.
The Kilbourne Group says the construction for the Block 9 project, which will be built on the current parking lot of U.S. Bank, will start in either late August or early September.