To avoid any potential mis-information or confusion, the Clearfield County Amateur Radio Club (CCARC) is issuing the following statement regarding the amateur radio 2-meter band repeater located at the Centre Communications tower site on Rockton Mountain.
The amateur radio 2-meter band repeater equipment, coax and antenna located at the Centre Communications tower site on Rockton Mountain is now, and always has been, the property of the Clearfield County Emergency Management Agency. Purchased through a FEMA grant on April 16, 2008, it was provided by Clearfield County EMA for use by the county’s RACES team, as well as any other amateur radio operators in the area. The equipment was not “a gift” to any radio club. It continued to be the property of the Clearfield County Emergency Management Agency and was being operated by the amateur group designated by the Clearfield County EMA.
In 2008 the Clearfield County RACES team and the Quad County Amateur Radio Club were effectively the same organization. In May of 2008, the weekly “Quad County FM Net” was re-branded as the “Quad County ARES RACES Net” further solidifying this union. The combined net functioned not only as a club net, but also as the Clearfield County ARES-RACES net. As time progressed new leadership in the Qaud County ARC moved their organization in different directions. This new direction effectively severed the relationship with the Clearfield County Emergency Management Agency and the county’s ARES-RACES program.
The combined “Quad County ARES RACES Net” was discontinued in September 2009 when Net Control Station Doug Rowles W3DWR informed the Clearfield County ARES Emergency Coordinator (at the time the ARES Emergency Coordinator was Paul Lowes W3PRL) that he and his emergency communications traffic was no longer welcome “on his net”. The weekly net reverted back to the “Quad County FM Net” and no longer included ARES RACES activities.
In 2011 a certified letter from Quad County Amateur Radio Club President (Joe Shupienis W3BC) was received by the Clearfield County RACES Radio Officer with carbon copies being sent to the Clearfield County EMA Director and several ARRL officials. In the letter the Quad County club President proceed to threaten legal action for some perceived slights, as well as state that the Quad County Amateur Radio Clubs was not interested in supporting emergency communications in Clearfield County. Not long after receipt of the certified letter, the Quad County club was told they could no longer hold meetings in the Clearfield County Emergency Management Agency building.
As the Quad County club vacated the EMA Building meeting room, the Clearfield County ARES-RACES Team, under the leadership of Mike WB3EQW, began holding quarterly meetings in the very same EMA building meeting room formerly used by the Quad County club. The ARES-RACES team’s stated purpose was to support emergency communications in Clearfield County and the EMA Director welcomed this cooperative attitude.
In 2013 the members of the Clearfield County ARES-RACES Team decided to form a new amateur radio club – the Clearfield County Amateur Radio Club. The formation of this new amateur radio club was a direct reaction to the position taken by the Quad County club leadership regarding the Clearfield County ARES-RACES Team and Emergency Communications in general.
In April 2014 the Quad County club deactivated the county owned repeater hardware and installed their own equipment at the Centre Communications tower site on Rockton Mountain. No, the equipment did not malfunction or become non-operational. It is now, and always has been, in perfect working order.
Following the deactivation of the county owned repeater equipment, Clearfield County EMA office decided to transfer operational control to the Clearfield County RACES program, under the direction of Clearfield County RACES Radio Officer Mike WB3EQW. In October 2014 the Clearfield County EMA Office advised the Quad County ARC that they were to remove all club owned equipment from the Centre Communications tower site and relocate it elsewhere.