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Peace River Weather Station – Update

Basic-Weather-ClassRon Jones spoke with Jim Darden to get timeline for MAC grant. MAC has reviewed and recommended approval of the grant and forwarded to Charlotte County for final approval. Charlotte County will review grant applications and grant final approval at their May 11 meeting. Following final approval by the county, a contract between the county and PGBA will be sent. Reimbursement under the grant will not be made for any purchased made before 1 Oct 2016; therefore, no equipment will be ordered until the new fiscal year begins.

As a related concern; the MAC grant is a reimbursement for monies spent. Over the next several months, assuming Charlotte County gives final approval for the weather station grant, PGBA will need to discuss funding for the purchase of weather station equipment and submission of invoices for reimbursement by Charlotte County.

A question was raised concerning location of the weather sensors on Peace River Marker 4, for support of many racing events Marker 2 would be a preferred location. The initial installation of the weather sensors will be a “proof of concept” to demonstrate the value of real-time weather data from on the water locations. In evaluating weather sensors and wireless communications, the best value in an “off the shelf” unit had a transmission range of 1 mile (other units offered longer range; however that came at a significantly higher costs, or required multiple radio links adding cost and complexity to the project). It was determined that while Marker 2 was a more desirable location, communications costs made it impractical for the initial site. Marker 4 is well within range of the shore based network interface and will provide weather data for sailing classes, anchorage areas, and is in a better location for monitoring and/or maintaining the equipment. Once the initial site is up and running, a variety of communications options, including use of amateur radio telemetry, will be investigated with the goal of establishing a second site on Marker 2. A grant requesting funding for the second site will be submitted for the FY18 grant year.

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