11/17/04 — Fremont board approves radio station tower

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Fremont board approves radio station tower

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on November 17, 2004 2:01 PM

FREMONT -- Fremont now has its own radio station.

But the station, WFWC-LP, broadcasting on 99.3 FM from the Fremont United Methodist Church, will have an expanded listening audience in a few months for its programs of church services, music and public service announcements.

The church won approval Tuesday night from the Fremont town board to erect a 110-foot tower on its property in the 100 block of North Sycamore Street to broadcast mostly computer-generated programs 24 hours a day.

The pastor, the Rev. Martin Armstrong, said the church will be one of only six United Methodist churches in the nation to have a radio station.

"We're hoping to serve the community the best way we can," he said.

The idea for the station had been proposed by a former member, Steve Yelverton, a lawyer in Washington.

"We're excited about it," Rev. Armstrong said. The station presents "all kinds of possibilities" and would "build community relationships."

Armstrong hoped to have a tower in the next six months. He said donations from members and others would help pay for it.

The station would broadcast on 75 watts and reach about 12 to 15 miles, Armstrong said, as far as Belfast to the south, Wilson to the north and Kenly to the west.

The Fremont Planning Board agreed to allow radio towers as a conditional use in the general business zone and recommended that the church be allowed to erect the tower.

Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie also had recommended the change in zoning with one exception. The church had asked for a setback of 60 percent, not 100 percent, of the height of the tower from the edge of the property. Alderman Leon Mooring's motions to accept the two changes, with the approval for the 60-foot setback, passed unanimously.