Trinidad Head, a California Historic Landmark, and scenic area might be losing cell service before the end of the year. One tower has stood for decades and provides service from Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, but now that Verizon’s lease is up, residents are urging the City Council not to renew the contract, reported the North Coast Journal.
The tower provided about $50,000 in annual revenue to the city, and although Verizon and it’s tenants—AT&T and Sprint—are supposed to vacate by September 1, they can stay until the end of the year by paying 150 percent of the usual monthly rent.
Verizon has built a replacement tower but warns it will only provide minimal coverage; AT&T and Sprint presented a temporary solution that was denied by the Planning Commission, according to the Journal.
AT&T then proposed an alternative option: a temporary 75-foot tower on church-owned property. The Trinidad Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny the application even though large swaths of the area receive little to no coverage.
During a recent Planning Commission meeting, residents chastised the carriers for their “last-minute efforts” in determining alternative solutions. They also voiced concerns over aesthetics, property values, and health risks should a replacement tower or towers be constructed near their homes.
Without a clear solution in place, the situation is prompting some public safety concerns. Sheriff Billy Honsal said, “We don’t need LESS connectivity; we need more connectivity in Humboldt County, and this is a vital public safety issue.” Honsal fears the loss of AT&T coverage if a solution is not formulated.
July 30, 2019
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