The Jeffco Sheriff’s Office has been using helicopters this week to remove radio equipment from its Riley Peak site and relocating it to an existing tower at Elk Creek Fire Protection District Station 3 on Conifer Mountain.

The county previously subleased the Riley Peak site from Intermountain Rural Electric Association. However, IREA decided not to renew its lease at the site due to an issue with the new landowner. IREA terminated the lease in April, and Jeffco had 90 days to remove the equipment.

“IREA worked with us to help remove the equipment this week,” Jeffco Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mike Taplin said.

The new site on Timothys Drive is 6 miles north of the existing one. The coverage “remains virtually the same” as the Riley Peak site coverage, according to Taplin. According to prior reporting from the Courier, the annual cost for the new lease from Elk Creek Fire is $120 plus 20 percent of utilities for the previous year, which comes out to $1,720.43 for 2020.

County representatives said in a May staff briefing with the county commissioners that it’s crucial for the county to have a telecommunications site in the southern part of the foothills.