As an end to the ongoing saga of Crested Butte, CO and the town’s struggle to find a place for a new cell tower, a 40-foot tower that currently occupies the town’s Public Works Yard will be replaced by a 60-foot tower. The compromise is the result of an agreement between the Crested Butte Town Council and Verizon, reports the Crested Butte News. Several locations were considered before settling on the Public Works site.
Earlier plans that would have placed a cell tower on Crested Butte Community School property were met with a negative reaction from the public. The town rallied and met with Verizon to negotiate the choosing of a more satisfactory site. The new tower “…will add capacity for more wireless service in Crested Butte,” said Verizon location consultant, Colleen Nebel. “The 4G will allow more users to access the internet at once. Many areas, especially neighborhoods around downtown Crested Butte, will see improved service.”
Crested Butte Mayor, Jim Schmidt, played devil’s advocate, questioning why the proposed tower was higher than the current tower, “and so ugly. It looks like a 1912 oil derrick.” He also raised the issue of perceived safety issues resulting from EMF emissions.
Nebel explained that different designs were available, but that a latticed arrangement would make it easier to add additional carriers in the future. The additional height would also help accommodate new carriers. More designs have been requested, and Crested Butte will have the opportunity to consider a monopine or monopole in lieu of the latticed arrangement.
Regardless of the final design, the lease between Verizon and Crested Butte will be a five year term lease. Additional five year terms will be automatically renewed up to four times with an annual lease rate of $15,000. While the final tower design is still under review, the council unanimously approved the lease terms.
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