The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Commission moves ahead with Gogebicrange.com tower plan

 

November 14, 2017



By RALPH ANSAMI

ransami@yourdailyglobe.com

Ironwood — The Ironwood City Commission on Monday agreed to move ahead with a company’s plan to install a tower on Mt. Zion, but took no action on a second request.

GogebicRange.net and Northern Michigan University have requested to install towers for wireless service on Mt. Zion. The city owns the land, but permits would be needed through Ironwood Township.

City commission members spoke favorably of a plan by Gogebicrange.net to attach fixed wireless technology to the top of two existing light poles, adding less than 10 feet of height to those poles. City attorney Tim Dean will be instructed to meet with the company about working out an agreement.

City commissioner Jim Mildren suggested a workshop be conducted on the tower issue.

The NMU request is to place a 190-foot LTE tower on the top of Mt. Zion to provide internet and an educational service, including classes, to the area. Internet would be available to the general public.

NMU officials discussed their plans with the Gogebic County Board of Commissioners several months ago, but haven’t appeared before the city commission about the U.P.-wide plans.

The city’s parks and recreation committee reviewed the two proposals Nov. 6, evaluating the projects based on their recreational impact to city-owned property.

The parks-recreation committee recommended the city commission approve the Gogebicrange.net proposal, but was concerned about the aesthetic impact of a NMU tower of that size.

Mayor Annette Burchell said she spoke to GCC President Jim Lorenson over the weekend and there’s opposition to the visual aspect of such a high tower on the mountain.

Brandon Yuchasz, of Gogebicrange.net, told city commissioners Monday that his company could locate its equipment on a NMU tower some time in the future, if the NMU tower were to be approved.

Gogebicrange.net has been in Gogebic County for eight years and has branched out to Iron County, Wis. As for placing the equipment on existing poles at Mt. Zion, Yuchasz said, “You’re helping to fill in a dead area where there is no broadband.” He said township people would be served in areas where Charter Communications doesn’t want to go.

Commissioner Rick Semo’s motion that the city move ahead on an agreement with Gogebicrange.net passed unanimously. He noted the commission would still have to vote on a final agreement, however.

In other business Monday, with winter arriving early, commissioners approved change orders to extend the date for turf restorations at five city-ordered demolition sites under the Hardest Hit grant program. They’re at 142 Rowe St., 349 E. Pine St., 249 E. Ash St., 433 Shale Rd. and 431 Shale Rd.

The original completion date for Snow Country Contracting of Nov. 15 for the restoration work was extended 17 days into next spring.

The only new commissioner to be sworn into office Monday was Joseph Cayer Jr., who replaces Brandon Tauer, who did not seek re-election.

Mayor Burchell said she was honored to be re-elected and welcomed Cayer back to the commission.

Tim Dean was reappointed city attorney, Karen Gullan clerk, Dennis Hewitt assessor-building inspector, Scott Erickson city manager and Paul Linn treasurer.

In other business, the commission purchased a one-ton Ford four-wheel drive truck for the department of public works from Ashland Ford Chrysler for $38,866.

 
 

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