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Radio waves coming to beach
A group of volunteers is raising funds to start a noncommercial broadcast station in Florence
By Serena Markstrom
PUBLISHED: 12:00 A.M., DEC 16
FLORENCE — A group of about 60 volunteers is close to its dream of getting a noncommercial radio station on coastal airwaves by an April 14 deadline.
So far, the group has raised about $25,000 in in-kind and cash donations for KXCR-FM, 90.7. The volunteers still need about $15,000 for auxiliary equipment and $4,000 for an Emergency Alert System receiver, which are required by the Federal Communications Commission. The station also is not yet staffed during the day, another FCC requirement.
KXCR has until the April deadline to either go on the air or lose its construction permit from the FCC. The group hopes to get the station on the air before then, said Don Landstrom, who is president of the nonprofit KXCR Community Radio Partners, which will run the station.
The station will cost between $60,000 and $70,000 per year to operate once it is up and running full time, he estimated, with about 50 percent of that coming from underwriters and 50 percent from listeners.
“Once we get on the air, we can do fundraising over the air, which makes a huge difference,” said Landstrom, a retired physicist who also is heading up technical aspects of the station.
The station will be staffed by volunteers, at least initially, and the focus will be local news, public service announcements and recordings of live music from Florence area performances, among other things, he said.
“We are filling a big gap here,” Landstrom said. “We are covering a wide score of things that normally would never be broadcast that are of value to our citizens here in Florence.”
The station will broadcast from a remodeled 1950s house across the street from the Siuslaw Public Library. Four private citizens purchased the bank-owned house for $50,000 and paid for another $50,000 in remodeling, Landstrom said.
The property owners are allowing the station to operate there for a “very low rent,” he said. The station has a two-year rental agreement with the option to purchase the home at cost.
The new venture also has received support from KLCC public radio and the University of Oregon in Eugene, which have donated equipment, Landstrom said. West Lane Translator Association will assist in broadcasting the station on equipment that is used to transmit a signal on a frequency different than the original transmission.
KXCR-FM, 90.7 is raising funds in hopes of getting on the air by or before April
Station address: 1509 Ninth St. in Florence
Mail: P.O. Box 127, Florence, OR 97439