The Mile High Radio Club must now approve the same agreement for operation of local emergency radio station WNKI (1610 AM) that the Idyllwild Fire Protection District commission approved last week in order to take over operations.

MHRC is holding a special meeting this week to review the agreement and President Bill Tell expects its approval.

Assuming the club accepts the proposal, a committee composed of IFPD and MHRC will be formed to oversee the station’s management. One of the early steps will be reviewing MHRC’s proposed plan to improve the delivery of WNKI’s signal on the Hill, from Poppet Flats in the north to Anza in the south.

“This is going to be a long road and as mentioned today it could be several years before WNKI’s full potential is realized,” Tell wrote in an email. “Team MHRC has many talented members; it is this talent that will be put to the test.

“The list is in draft form and may be re-shaped somewhat after our board reviews and comments,” Tell added separately. “The action items only take us out through 90 days, so beyond that there will be many more details to tackle.”

For example, much of the station’s software is still based on 1980s technology. The ability to employ current software technology will make a difference and permit use of offsite and interactive software.

The club also will explore options for strengthening the signal, perhaps through use of new repeater locations, and additions or improvements to the station’s antenna.

One of the first procedural steps is for IFPD to provide an accounting of “all funds held on account of WNKI along with all outstanding obligations, including actual and contingent.” IFPD has 20 business days to provide this information to MHRC and the club has 60 business days to either accept or take exception to the accounting.

Also, Tell said MHRC will organize its management of the station around a group of subcommittees, such as technical, budget and volunteer, which will be established in the near future. It will also prepare an operations manual for future use.