Cell tower approved on Highway G
Nicole Aimone, Editor-in-Chief
The building of a 250 foot cell tower off of Highway 14 was approved unanimously at a joint meeting of the Village of Spring Green Plan Commission and Joint Extraterritorial Zoning Committee (JEZC) at its Oct. 21 meeting.
The 250 foot tower would sit on the 35 acre field off Highway 14 and County Highway G, just behind Riteway Plaza and Culver’s in Spring Green.
The tower will be equipped with broadband internet, cellular service for Bug Tussel and AT&T and FirstNet emergency response services. According to the proposal from Bug Tussel, the tower would also have three additional places for other cellular providers to use for service in the future.
FirstNet response is a wireless network designed for use by first responders to utilize during an emergency when cellular service is unreliable or unavailable.
“For anyone who is not familiar with FirstNet, our first responders use that beneficial service that is basically some sort of augmented cellular type signal and what that allows them to do is be in touch with the hospital particularly while they’re traveling down Highway 60. Usually you would lose cell phone reception on your way to the hospital,” said Jason Falteisek, a local engineer and member of the Joint Extraterritorial Zoning Committee. “You don’t have to worry about that with FirstNet, so it’s a great asset for the community.”
At the virtually-held meeting, only one member of the public spoke, with Patrick Hagen questioning the benefit of the tower.
“As a citizen I would like to understand, whom does this benefit? This action this tower, whom does this benefit?” said Hagan. “For example I have friends living outside of Spring Green having trouble getting service. In what way does this strengthen the internet that is provided to our citizens.
A representative from Bug Tussel listed FirstNet as a vital part of the tower for first responders, in response to the question. The representative also said the tower will benefit AT&T customers with improved cellular service and adding an additional option for broadband internet in the area.
Approval of the tower will not proceed to the village board, as the Planning and Zoning Committee and the JECZ allowed staff to sign off on the application, said Falteisek.
Construction is set to begin on the tower in late 2020 into early 2021.
—Adeline Holte, intern, contributed to this report.