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Committee approves new 300 foot tower at Gilman highway shop

Committee approves new 300 foot tower at Gilman highway shop Committee approves new 300 foot tower at Gilman highway shop

On Tuesday, members of the county’s highway committee gave their approval to a site plan for a new 300foot tall communication tower to be built on the property of the Western Taylor County highway shop.

The tower will be built by Bug Tussel as part of county- wide effort to increase access not only to high speed internet in underserved areas of the county, but also to improve cellular telephone coverage in the region.

Highway commissioner Ben Stanfley presented three possible options for the placement of the tower on the county-owned parcel and recommended going with the option that minimized the impact on both shop operations and disruption to the cropland surrounding the shop.

Committee member Chuck Zenner said the footprint of the towers take up about three acres total with the guy lines and other structures around the base of the tower itself. The intent of building the heavier-duty towers is to accommodate the equipment of multiple cellular providers.

The action by the committee allows the process to move forward with the county’s attorneys reviewing a formal lease contract with the goal of having it to the committee for approval in early October and to the full county board for the Oct. 26 meeting. This would allow the company to be ready to start erecting the towers in spring or summer of 2023.

Bridge aid

Committee members approved bridge aid requests for in the towns of Roosevelt, Westboro and Holway.

The existing 60 feet by 32 inch galvanized culvert on Roosevelt Ave. east of Hwy 73 is rusted out and full of material. They are looking to replace it with a 72 foot, 42 inch wide metal culvert at a total cost of $13,384 with the county share being $6,692.

The existing 36 inch by 56 foot galvanized culvert on Fischer Creek Road near Emerson and Gunnar roads will be replaced with a 36 inch by 70 foot plastic culvert at a total cost of $18,496 with the county share being $9,248. Stanfley noted the cost is higher because of how deep the culvert is and the amount of material that will be needed to fill and rebuild the banks. Committee chairman Ray Soper questions why it would be plastic versus metal. Stanfley said anything over 48 inches had to be steel and with the smaller diameter the plastic can handle the loads. He noted there was a significant price difference in culverts between plastic and metal.

A culvert on Apple Ave. in Holway completely washed out earlier this year and the county worked with the town to get disaster funding from the state which will cover 75% of the $15,121 replacement cost. Of the remaining $3,780 in cost, the county share will be $1,890.

In other business, committee members: Received an update on the State Road bridge in the village of Rib Lake. Stanfley said it was currently the worst rated bridge in the county. He reported on speaking to the Rib Lake village board last week where he told the village board they would need to either address the bridge’s concerns or take over the annual inspection of it. He said a follow up from that meeting indicated the village intended to close the bridge for vehicular traffic and only keep it for ATV and snowmobile use.

Discussed windshield damage potentially due to application of gravel to roads as part of the chipseal process. Stanfley noted that if all drivers followed the posted speed limit the gravel would not be kicked up to cause damage to any vehicles. During chipsealing the speed limit on roads is reduced to 35 mph until after the county repaints the road lines. He said the process takes about a week.

Received an update on the construction of the Rib Lake Shop building. Stanfley said the project is still scheduled to be done by the end of November. “Everything is moving along a little slower than I want,” Stanfley said.