Township sets public hearing for relay tower

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 12/22/99.

At their meeting on Monday, Dec. 13, the Paynesville Township Board of Supervisors set a public hearing on a variance needed for a proposed relay tower, which would be located near the west end of the township.

Rick Adams of Cellular 2000 was at the meeting to discuss the project and requested the public hearing on behalf of his company. A variance is needed because the proposed tower would be about 420 feet tall, plus antenna. The township ordinance limits tower heights to 200 feet.

Adams explained that his company has arranged to lease an eight-acre site from David Schmidt. At the base of the tower, the company plans to have a 60 by 60 foot compound with some service buildings. The compound will be protected by a six-foot high chain-link fence, topped with barb wire.

Adams told the supervisors that the tower would provide better capacity for cellular phone users in the Paynesville area. "We're taking Cellular 2000's load and tripling it," said Adams.

The supervisors asked about sharing the tower with other cellular phone companies. "We don't want towers all over the countryside," said board chairman Johnnie Olson.

Adams responded that the tower could accommodate multiple antennas. "Typically, those companies do co-locate," Adams said.

The exact site of the tower is contingent on the required setbacks. The supervisors expected to visit the site before the public hearing, which was set for Monday, Jan. 10, 2000, at 8 p.m.

Later at the meeting, the board discussed a request for information concerning another tower. Buell Communications asked for and will receive a copy of the township ordinance, its fee schedule, and its list of meeting dates and times.

•The township has received a $5,000 grant from SCORE funds to improve recycling in the township. They plan to use that to establish a collection station at the west end of their maintenance garage in a 46 by 40 foot area. "We would hopefully eliminate some of the garbage that's just thrown in ditches," said supervisor Don Pietsch.

West Central Sanitation would pick up the garbage on Monday, and the township has met with D & D Recycling to discuss handling the recyclable items.

The township would target residents who only come to the lake sporadically in the summer months, as these residents may not have regular garbage service.

•The board approved a revised personnel policies manual.

•The board signed a new ten-year fire contract, despite reservations that the new contract didn't address their areas of concern. The contract lasts from January 2000 until January 2010. The possibility of being without a fire contract was a concern as well, so the board approved a contract but sent a letter with it stating their reservations.

•The township is still waiting for the county to send them a formal agreement on the acquisition of County Road 124. The township plans to change both ends of the road, where it meets Highway 55. Instead of the acute intersections, the township plans to square off both intersections. The supervisors feel having more of a right angle at the junction will be safer.

•The hockey association has agreed to cover the extra operating costs at the Koronis Civic Arena this winter. The hockey association, the township, and the city split the costs at the arena. The hockey association agreed to pick up the extra expenses, which are due to an early start this fall and using more ice time.

•The board discussed the township ordinance that limits farms in Paynesville Township to having 500 animal units. A farmer approached the board with a request to rebuild a barn, and was told that he would need a variance to build with more than 500 animal units.

•The board also discussed a new state statute that designates scenic roads as rustic roads. Such a designation would lower the speed limit on the road and lower the township's liability. The state is developing a standard sign.

The supervisors expressed interest in finding any township roads that qualify for the distinction.

•The township is seeking volunteers to help contact township residents for a transit survey. Local transit service was offered to township residents at one time, but was cut for funding reasons. The survey of 100 township and 100 city residents should help determine need for the transit service.

Anyone in the township wanting to help should contact Don Pietsch at 320-276-8303.

•The board talked about reviving a township newsletter in the new year. One idea was to find a high school student who could help write informative articles about the township.

•The board heard a report from Terry Kulzer about township maintenance.

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