New cellular tower is approved

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 4/4/01.

cellular tower Qwest Wireless will be erecting a 190-foot monopole in Paynesville to better serve their cellular customers.

The Paynesville City Council approved a variance request from Qwest to construct the tower at their meeting on Wednesday, March 28.

The city ordinance allows a maximum height of 45 feet in industrial zones. Qwest asked for a variance to erect a 190-foot tower.

A public hearing was held Wednesday night to receive input from neighboring landowners, but no one attended. The city planning commission recommended its approval.

The tower will be erected on the north side of the Louis Industries building in the industrial park. "It is more appropriate to erect towers in industrial than residential areas," Mike Reger of Qwest told the council.

Reger informed the council the tower is self-supporting with its strongest point at the base. The tower is designed to withstand winds up to 85 miles per hour. If a tornado should come through Paynesville, the tower would break at mid-point and dangle like jointed tent poles.

City administrator Dennis Wilde talked with building inspectors and they had no problems with the design of monopole towers.

Qwest is establishing a network in western Minnesota. They will be erecting towers every 10 miles along highways 23, 55, 12, and 212 from St. Cloud to Marshall, Paynesville to the Twin Cities, Willmar to the Twin Cities, and Granite Falls to the Twin Cities.

Construction is expected to start on the monopole in June. The network system is anticipated to be completed and in operation this summer.

Qwest looked at three other sites in Paynesville. The Federal Aviation Administration had issues with each site, as each had to be located further away from the airport.

If they had opted for another site, the tower would have been limited to 140 feet, not high enough to connect with the New London tower, Reger said.

"The Louis site will enable us to provide high quality coverage to the Paynesville area," Reger said. "We needed the height so customers wouldn't lose calls from point to point," he added.

Qwest has a cooperation agreement with other cellular providers, enabling them to position their antennas on the monopole. The pole is designed to hold five sets of antennas.

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