The new transmitter for Marfa Public Radio will be built atop of the Presidio water tower. (Bayla Metzger / Marfa Public Radio).
The Presidio City Council has approved Marfa Public Radio’s request to build a transmitter atop the city’s water tower, bringing NPR programming and music to the border community.
During a meeting on Sept. 12, City Council members approved of a lease agreement with Marfa Public Radio.
“We entered into a 30-year agreement to locate our transmitter and broadcast tower on City property,” Marfa Public Radio board president Al Davis said.
The Presidio City Council has provided the location to Marfa Public Radio free of charge, but the station is responsible for their share of utilities. The transmitter will be built on top of Presidio water tower, where this year artist ‘El Mac’ painted the image of an abuela that looks over the border town.
In the past, the signal from Marfa Public Radio’s tower on Brown Mountain has been unable to reach the border town of 7,000. But with the new transmitter, Davis says both Presidio and its sister city Ojinaga will be in broadcast range.
Davis acknowledged Neil Chavigny for his help in acquiring the broadcast license and establishing a transmitter location as well as Presidio’s Brad Newton, who helped with negotiations.
Marfa Public Radio will need to raise nearly $20,000 for start-up costs for the Presidio transmitter.