Hot rods in the hot sun at Outboards Car Show
Outboards Bar & Grill and Bait Shop near Miller Dam held its 9th annual Car and Motorcycle Show on August 1. The event also included a bean bag tournament, raffle, giveaways, music and food.
A plan to look at sites for additional cellular communication towers in the county may provide a boost to efforts to improve internet services to county residents.
Members of the Taylor County Buildings and Grounds committee on July 30 discussed options on locating tower sites that would serve both cellular phone needs and internet communication needs.
“I don’t want us building a tower 400 yards from each other,” said county board member Mike Bub. Bub heads the county’s broadband committee, a group that has been charged with creating a “middle-mile” network for the county that will allow providers a hub to build out to individual customers. The network will include a combination of fiber optic cable as well as focused transmissions between towers. Bub explained that the tower to tower transmission can reduce the amount of fiber optic cable needed and reduce the cost and ongoing maintenance.
The county’s tower consultant, Shane Begley of Begley Wireless is already in the process of evaluating where possible cellular towers could be located and offered to work under a similar agreement to find sites for the broadband towers. He noted that it may be faster to locate the internet towers and get them built and then market to cellular providers. He explained the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down many projects and caused companies to redirect their resources.
He said that if the county were to build good enough towers, he expects he would be able to find companies willing to lease space on them. The county collects signifi cant revenue from the existing county-owned cellular tower near College St. in Medford with the total in 2019 of nearly $100,000. Similar towers around the county could serve county needs while also generating ongoing revenue to offset county property taxes.
Bub said they hoped to start construction on the network by next spring and said they did not want to have to wait for cellular providers, which operate on their own timetables. Begley cautioned that from start to finish it usually takes about a year to get a tower built. “The fastest is about six months, the average is about nine months,” he said.
Bub noted that the county is already in the tower business, having experience with the College St. tower, so adding additional towers would not be creating something new for the county.
“It may be a coincidence, luck or awesome planning by the Taylor County Board,” Bub said, of the timing of being able to address both cellular service and broadband internet concerns at the same time.
A now-inactive trail organization is looking to give the Perkinstown Winter Sports area a boost. Bruce Strama and Tim Hughley of Taylor County Trails Association came to the committee with a proposal to donate equipment and about $12,000 to help improve the ski trails and drags and other equipment at the recreation area.
The association ran the Perkinstown Snowshoe Race for several years before handing the event off to the Medford Lions Club. Strama explained the goal in doing the event was to give back to the winter sports area and make improvements there. The group has since gone inactive, but wants to continue to give back to the county. They are looking to pay for the replacement of some trail signs, the purchase of five pairs of new Northern Lite snowshoes for the facility and would like to fund additional grooming of the ski trails over the next few years.
“The trails are just not groomed regularly,” Hughley said. The county currently helps the Rib Lake Ski and Snowshoe Club with trail maintenance at a cost of about $2,000 per year and was looking to develop a similar partnership to keep the trails at Perkinstown groomed regularly.
Committee members voted to accept the donation and directed buildings and ground director Joe Svejda to work with the group.
In other business, committee members:
_ Approved allowing Svejda to move forward with the possible purchase of a Dodge truck from the sheriff’s department to replace an older vehicle in the buildings and grounds department. The sheriff’s department is looking to replace a 2016 Durango. Committee member Jim Gebauer noted a law enforcement vehicle would typically have a lot of miles on it. Svejda said he was not concerned with the miles since the vehicle would be used primarily for the buildings and grounds crew to go to county facilities around the city and to move equipment from place to place. He said the cost of $8,500 would not strap his budget.
_ Received an update of projects completed by the buildings and grounds staff including the installation of plexiglass barriers in the courtrooms in preparation for allowing jury trials to resume.