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home : latest news : local May 22, 2015

6/18/2014 7:15:00 AM
Cell tower draws little public comment

Briana Lonas

In the wake of a unanimous decision to place a communications cell tower within Viewpoint Park, Richard Eornes stood up during Thursday's regular council meeting to state the reasons he opposed the location.

Earlier this month, the Parks and Recreation Commission approved a 60-foot Verizon tower that most Viewpoint and Pronghorn citizens feel would greatly improve cell service in that area.

Eornes said he felt Verizon representatives did not provide enough information on the alternative sites for the tower, noting Viewpoint Park seemed already decided.

"This is a community park... anytime during the day, moms and dads play with their children in the grassy area. They have picnics on the grass where they play youth soccer, they are walking and exercising pets, flying kites..." Eornes said.

His concern, apart from the potential for children to get hurt playing near the tower, is when communications carriers piggyback on to the Verizon tower and build their protective bunkers to house air-conditioning units, the additional buildings also would add to the potential of injury for children playing.

He also said property values could see a reduction.

Tom Mastroianni proposed that Verizon place its tower on a mountaintop piece of property that he owns within the Coyote Crest area past the fairgrounds.

Mastroianni said this would offer a larger range of service without worry of property devaluations or child safety issues.

Mastroianni said he has not had any discussions with Verizon about his solution.

Earlier this month, more than 100 residents turned out for a public meeting at Viewpoint Park on the latest plans for the Verizon tower that a most residents hope will upgrade cell phone reception and prevent dropped calls.

The town council said it will decide at a future meeting whether or not to approve the site location.

The council did approve a final development plan with StoneRidge developer Univest on a final development plan for the Villas at StoneRidge for 47 lots on nine acres north of Old Black Canyon Highway.

The proposed gated community will feature private streets maintained through a sub-association, according to a town report.

Council also approved the final plans for three Granville units consisting of 71 lots on 19 acres located on the west side of Granville Fairway, south of Santa Fe Loop Road.

The council agreed to move forward with a construction contract for the expansion of Antelope Park for the new fiscal year, allowing for more turf space, a new ramada, a walking path, 19 paved parking spaces, and trees.

Council also approved a continuing intergovernmental agreement with Yavapai County for unified emergency management. Benefits of the agreement include:

• Notification of hazardous conditions (fire, flooding, traffic incidents, etc.)

• $370,000 in grants towards countywide communications systems upgrades

• Homeland Security grant funding

• On-call 24/7 alternative communications capability (i.e. amateur radio)

• Update of Disaster Response Plan

• Free Homeland Security and emergency management training classes

• Completion of the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Article comment by: Aunt Bea

Cell phone coverage can be met in a less public spot. People are willing donate the land which would serve the cell coverage issue! Now there's a great idea!

The question is why are some fighting to keep the 60 fool eyesore in a park where kids play and families gather when it could easily be placed in a less visually obtrusive location?

Why would people WANT to place it in a park when there are less invasive areas open to place it?

Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Article comment by: common sense

Why do people rely on cell phones for emergencies? I still have a landline and always will. Having both is nice, but only as a backup.

Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2014
Article comment by: Pronghorn Resident

What a generous move. I suppose he doesn't want to pocket the two grand per month for the use of property? Here is another who uses witch tales of dangers to potentially line his pockets at the detriment of those living in the Pronghorn/Village areas. Come on City Council, get off your duffs and start doing something for the community you serve and satisfy their wants and needs. Emergency Services have no communications in some of the areas in Pronghorn as well as the residents and we have been waiting for reasonable service for the fast 4 years! This isn't a budget question, its more a quality of life question!

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