Photo by City of North Platte
Map of tower and surrounding area. (Click on image to enlarge.)
Photo by George Lauby
Abandoned property at Front and Oak
A new 150-foot tall cell tower will be built near the North Platte water tower at Seventh and Dewey, following action Tuesday by the North Platte city council.
The council’s approval was unanimous, countering a trend of denying towers in the busier parts of North Platte since May 2012.
This time, only one resident of the area spoke in opposition – Jay Boo, the owner of the Rodeway Inn at 920 N. Jeffers.
Boo said the neighborhood needs more shops and attractions instead of another industrial project. He said the cell tower would detract from the water tower, partially blocking the view of it.
But Kyle and Dan Troyer, who own the lot where the tower will be built as well as other lots and businesses next to the tower, said the tower fits with the area and no one really drives by to see the water tower anyway.
Project manager Trevor Wood of Select Site Development said he’d notified 27 property owners in the surrounding area and received no complaints.
He told the council the 150-foot pole will stand far enough from other property that it won’t create a danger if it would fall – answering a complaint about previous towers proposed in populated areas.
Wood said the bottom of the tower will be strongly anchored, and the pole would kink near the top in an extremely high wind or tornado, falling on itself.
He said he searched a wide area for a suitable location where the tower would stand 80 feet or so away from neighboring properties, and this lot behind Troyer Welding is the best.
He said the tower would provide downtown with a good wireless signal.
Wood said the only way the tower would collapse near the bottom would be by a tornado hurling a car into it.
Wood also said the company that will use the tower is widely regarded as one of the top two wireless companies in the United States.
Kyle Troyer said the corner will be skirted with a solid six-foot tall fence to hide some of Troyer Welding materials that are stored there now. The fence will also hide the base of the tower itself.
City regulations require a 120-foot setback, but the council agreed to make an exception this time.
The 120-foot requirement is “maybe a little excessive,” Zoning Administrator Judy Clark said.
When the discussion was over, councilman Andrew Lee moved to approve the tower and the council agreed.
In other business, Habitat for Humanity organizers wanted to pave the way for a new warehouse at the corner of Front and Oak, but the topic was pulled from the council agenda before the meeting.
Habitat organizers said they want to put storage materials in one central location, instead of several places around town.
A half-dozen residents of that area attended the council meeting, ready to speak against the warehouse because it would create a light-industrial use in what is now a residential section.
A rundown house and shed stand on the lot now. New owners recently took over the property after it was sold for back (uncollected) taxes.
Neighbors said after the meeting that they are glad someone has taken charge of the abandoned property, but they don’t like the thought of an industrial building there.
In other business, the council:
• Approved reappointments of Kim Shapiro and Judy Brown to the city’s historic preservation committee.
• Approved an application to replat land in the Twin Rivers Business Park near the Cabela’s Call Center. A new lot would accommodate a unnamed new business that is considering locating in North Platte.
• Permitted an office and storage site at the corner of Willow and Eugene for McJay Partnership and Irrigation Technology, Inc., a well drilling and service company.
• Approved a permit for a new mental health counseling building at the corner of Philip and Tabor.
• When it came time to approve the expenses, councilman Tim Barrett questioned a $24.000 payment to Almquest Matltzahn, as well as a payment of around $23,000 to Fesno Valves. The first payment was for the city audit and the second was for valves during the South Platte River flood in September, city administrator Jim Hawks said.
Barrett and councilman Brook Baker also questioned a $1600 payment for a new pickup, which was for a topper at Larry's RV, Hawks said.
"We can get a pickup and accessorize it later?" Baker asked.
The council voted unanimously to approve the expenses.
• Forwarded an application by Charles Andersen to manage the liquor license at the Whiskey Creek Steakhouse.