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  • Last modified 149 days ago (June 19, 2019)

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Deadline draws near for cell phone tower

Staff writer

It was a piece of unfinished business that brought Ruth Herbel to Monday’s city council meeting.

A planning and zoning public hearing scheduled in May to discuss a Verizon Wireless proposal to build a 129-foot cell phone tower at Commercial and Forest Sts. was postponed at Verizon’s request so the company could seek a different location.

However, Herbel said, the city needs a tolling agreement stating the time allowed for approval or disapproval of conditional use permit. Without that agreement between the city and Verizon, state law requires the application to be deemed approved because of inaction by the city.

Herbel asked council members if the city had signed such an agreement Monday. She said she’d called the city office Monday morning and learned no agreement had been signed.

“If we don’t have that tolling agreement in effect, in two weeks that agreement will be in place,” Herbel said.

City administrator Roger Holter said lawyers for the city and the cell phone company are working to finalize an agreement.

Scott Goble, managing member of Pamcorp, a real estate contractor for Verizon, earlier said the company made the request in an effort to appease neighbors near the proposed tower location, who have objected to its location.

“We are hoping if the case is tabled for a month, we will have some determination whether we can settle on a backup location to suit Verizon’s needs,” Goble said.

Verizon has not withdrawn their request for a conditional use permit for the Commercial and Forest Sts. location.

Neighbors earlier filed a protest petition with 31 signatures. They are worried about potential health effects from exposure to cell phone signals, loss of property values, and loss of wildlife habitat. They are also unhappy over insufficient notice to surrounding property owners.

Last modified June 19, 2019

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