The federal government's changeover to a common nationwide emergency two-way radio communication system has negatively impacted radio range in Buffalo County.
The county's law enforcement and finance committees said the required new system has "significantly reduced the range and effectiveness" of sheriff's radio signals.
In response, the Buffalo County Board has authorized spending up to $50,000 in capital project funds to lease and install a new signal repeater and antenna equipment on a radio tower in Hovey Valley in the east-central part of the county.
A year ago Buffalo County boosted its two-way signal range when leasing space for a signal repeater and antenna on a Minnesota State Department of Transportation tower located near Rollingstone.
Two-way radio quality in Buffalo County dropped off as much as 30 percent after the transition to narrow band, according to the sheriff's department.
The signal boost from the Rollingstone tower improved two-way communications in southern Buffalo County, but radio quality remained weak in the eastern regions.