"All of us at Pioneer greatly appreciate receiving legislative support for equipment at our new facility in Granite Falls," said Pioneer General Manager Les Heen. "The funds will allow us to purchase permanent studio lighting, relay towers and other critical infrastructure to allow us to start broadcasting from the new building."
The appropriation bill for the facility was introduced earlier in the session by Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent and Sen. Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls. The final capital investment bill was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support under the leadership of Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester; Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City and Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul.
The legislative appropriation will set Pioneer on a year-long transition process to move into the new building. One of the most time-consuming parts of that process will be building microwave relay towers to connect the new building to Pioneer's existing regional transmission tower near Appleton where it feeds Pioneer’s regional broadcast network across southwest and western Minnesota to towers near Worthington and Fergus Falls. Another major component will be equipping a new 24-7 master control center in the new building.
"We have been very fortunate to have the generous gift of Ron and Diane Fagen to provide the building, legislative support for the equipment and our members to keep our great programs going," said Pat Kubly, Pioneer’s board chair. "In the coming months, we will be reaching out to our members and new friends in the communities we serve to ask for additional support that will help make the most of this new facility. We look forward to many years of great regional programming from the new studio.”