I recently became GMRS licensed so that my family and myself could have some backup radio communications without everyone needing a HAM license. However I do hope it entices my brothers and some other family to try. Anyways, we all live very close by so it works out mostly well but we were disappointed to learn there are no GMRS repeaters in our area anymore. I lived in Clayton, NC with my family and recently moved to Raleigh, NC so now at least one family member could use a GMRS repeater. That is, unless every family member suddenly decides to become HAM licensed overnight.
I've read about homemade repeaters and have most of the components to build one and sling in a tree somewhere nearby. Before I went to such measure I wanted to ask around about the process and costs of installing a proper GMRS repeater on a radio tower. I'm a new HAM as well so I know very little of the radio tower world. I am a 20 year IT professional and know about co-locating hosts. I wonder if radio towers do something similar? Do we lease space from them like you would lease a spot in a datacenter to put your own server?
There was one HAM who had a GMRS repeater installed on a water tower at the State Fair grounds but when they took the water tower down the owner never bothered to re-install the GMRS repeater on another tower because it was rarely used. I asked him more through email regarding how one could go about getting space on a water tower or radio tower but i've never received a response yet. When I did speak with him on 2 meters, he explained that he was very busy maintaining radio tower equipment and has very little time so didn't want to push him. So i'm asking you all now.
I've read other posts on repeaters, towers and relative costs in terms like "expensive" and "costly" but nothing actionable or relevant to my locale.
If anyone out there in my area who knows a thing or two, is bored and willing to explain more about this I would greatly appreciate your efforts. I have a strong interest in having another GMRS repeater in the Raleigh area and if it is within my budget or I can get enough people to contribute I would like to install one. I simply don't know where to get started.