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Kimball council approves second cell phone tower


Can you hear me now? Good.

Cell phone service should soon improve throughout the area as Verizon’s plans to build a tower east of Kimball has met final approval.

The city council unanimously approved a conditional use permit for the tower to be placed in the corner of Mike Reuter’s pivot, just over 170 feet from U.S. Hwy. 30 east of Kimball.

Verizon’s representative, Jeffrey Skinner, joined the meeting via telephone. Skinner said the tower, approximately 340 feet tall, is self-supporting, meaning it has no guy wires. He added that the advantage of this type of design is in the way the tower collapses.

The three-legged self-support towers have a concrete foundation featuring three very large and very deep concrete piers supporting it, according to Skinner.

“The old guy-wire towers obviously had issues with structure and with stability. If you had an issue with even one guy wire potentially, that tower would unravel and just collapse, and I mean more than likely it would be at the base – just fall straight over,” Skinner said. “We will design it to fall within 170 feet. They design it so there is a weak part in the steel structure itself. Whether it is a tornado or whatever the case may be, that tower would collapse and come down upon itself within that given distance.”

The tower could also serve two additional co-locaters as well, according to Skinner, and it could withstand basic wind speed of 90 miles per hour with no ice or 60 miles per hour with one quarter inch of ice.

“Obviously this tower is being brought forward to serve you folks out there for more coverage. The one site that is even remotely near you is unable to handle the traffic and data coverage out there,” Skinner said. “This proposal on Mr. Reuter’s property would serve both functions so that everyone in the vicinity, in town and in the outlying neighborhood would have full Verizon coverage.”

“I would just say that I don’t know about the rest of you but I lose two, three, four, five calls a day on Verizon now because the load is so heavy,” Reuter said. “So I think that there is a real need in this area for a tower. Just for my day to day business.”

City Administrator Daniel Ortiz added that signal strength should improve in the entire area but specifically in neighboring buildings.

“We have gone to extraordinary efforts to find a location that would be less interference to any neighboring homes and property owners,” Skinner said.

The plans include a 15 foot fence topped with barbed wire to surround the tower for security purposes. Due to zoning ordinances, barbed wire is not permitted.

Skinner offered to accommodate the ordinance by eliminating the barbed wire completely or by erecting a wooden fence around the chain link with barbed wire for safety as well as aesthetics.

The council passed the permit with the condition that the site meets the requirements regarding the barbed wire.

The Verizon tower approved last week was the second cell tower approved by the council in just over a month. The council approved a permit for Viaero Wireless at its Feb. 3 meeting.


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