A proposed Vernon community radio station is moving closer to the airwaves.
The Vernon Community Radio Society has filed its application with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to launch a new FM radio station to serve Greater Vernon.
Society president Gord Leighton said the application has been in the preparation stage for some weeks and was finalized when the society received a completed technical brief from their consulting engineer. The brief was made possible thanks to an $8,000 donation by the Kalamalka Rotary Club.
“The proposed new station has been assigned the call letters CFAN-FM by Industry Canada and has been branded as “Valley FM” by the non-profit Community Radio Society,” said Leighton.
The station will broadcast in stereo at 97.9 MHz on the FM dial, with an average effective radiated power of 581 watts. Peak power will be 1,000 watts.
Leighton said the station will deliver a solid signal to most of Greater Vernon from a transmitter site located east of the city on Vernon Hill (Vernon Mountain).
According to the engineering brief, 49,000 persons in 23,000 households should receive a clear, interference-free signal, with a full coverage reach of 55,600 persons.
The CRTC will now assess the application, and query the applicant if required, for new information or clarification of data. Once the commission considers the application complete, Leighton expects the CRTC will issue a Public Notice with an invitation for comments.
Following the comment period, the CRTC can then decide to issue a call for a public hearing, choose to issue a public notice approving the application or they could reject the application.
“I’m confident the CRTC will accept the society’s position that a new community-based station will be in the public interest,” said Leighton.
Once a license is granted, the society will launch a fundraising campaign to pay for capital costs, estimated to be about $95,000.
Funds for the $8,000 Kalamalka Rotary donation were raised at the 2017 Kalamalka Rotary Dream Auction, which set a new record, generating a total of $267,000 to support Kal Rotary service work.