The 340-foot tower, plus antennas, is located on the property of David Schmidt in the southwestern corner of Paynesville Township, near the west end of Lake Koronis.
After getting approval of the tower from the township and the Federal Aviation Administration, actual con-struction began on July 5, according to Randy Mattson of Minnesota Tower Systems. This company builds towers and leases space to carriers.
The tower is now completed, but the cleanup, road grading, and fencing still need to be finished. Mattson expected the construction to be completely done by next week.
The tower will have space for 48 antennas, at different levels, which should be enough to host at least five carriers. Mattson said the tower will not have that many antennas to begin with, as each company will want space for more antennas to accommodate future growth.
Right now, the tower has two tenants: Cellular 2000 of St. Cloud and Northern Personal Communication Services. Mattson said they are negotiating with other interested companies for tower space.
Cellular 2000 customers probably won't feel the benefits for another three or four weeks, according to Sandy Bromenshenkel, sales and marketing manager for Cellular 2000 of St. Cloud. It will take that long for their antennas to become active.
Bromenshenkel said the taller tower in a better location would improve reception around Lake Koronis as well as on Highway 55 from Paynesville to Watkins and along Highway 23 west of Paynesville.
The stronger signal should also help their customers cut down on roaming charges, which occur when the signal strength is low, Bromenshenkel said.
"We're real excited about it," she added. "Anytime we put up a tower we know we're going to make people happy."
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