The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Commissioners consider Mt. Zion broadband pact

 

April 21, 2018



By RALPH ANSAMI

ransami@yourdailyglobe.com

Ironwood — The Ironwood City Commission on Monday will consider a 2017 request from GogebicRange.net to install antennas for wireless service on the top of Mt. Zion.

Commissioners will review a proposed five-year antenna installation agreement that would begin on May 1.

The antennas would be located near the city's water tank on the top of existing light poles.

If the company has more than 200 subscribers, it would pay $300 a month. The rate would be $100 a month for 50 or fewer subscribers and $200 for 100 to 200.

The communication equipment at the top of Greenbush Drive will not exceed 22 feet in height above the existing light poles.

The tenant would be liable for the any of permits required for the installation by Ironwood Township, since it's technically on township property near Gogebic Community College.

GogebicRange.net would also be responsible for insurance.

In a memo to the city commission, Ironwood Community Development Director Tom Bergman said the city has been in discussions with Brandon Yuchasz of Gogebicrange.net for the past several months.

The purpose of the project is to provide broadband to North Ironwood.

At a Nov. 13 city commission meeting, city staff was directed to draft an agreement with Gogebicrange.net and bring it back for review.

The Ironwood Parks and Recreation Committee reviewed the plans on Nov. 6 to evaluate the project, based on the recreational impact to city-owned property. Since the project is not located within city limits, it would not go through any sort of site plan review by the city's planning commission, Bergman noted.

The parks and recreation committee thought the impact to the recreational use of Mt. Zion would be minimal and supported the request, although there was some concern about light pollution.

Bergman and city attorney Tim Dean have since recommended approval of the agreement by the city commission.

Yuchasz said only a limited number of households in that area of the township have internet coverage with GogebicRange.net. Most households are unreachable by his company, or any other broadband provider, he said.

The project will be accomplished by installing one broadcast antenna and one smaller receiver antenna on each light pole.

Power is available on the south side of the water tank through an unused Xcel Energy meter. Electricity would be billed directly to GogebicRange.net.

Yuchasz said the project can be finished within two weeks of the city's approval.

The meeting begins at 5:25 p.m. in commission chambers on the second floor of the Memorial Building with a public hearing on a cemetery ordinance.

 
 

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