WHEATLAND – The Platte County Planning and Zoning Board approved a special use permit for a new cell tower in the Wheatland area, as well as several anemometers for wind data collection in the Chugwater area.
Irene Cook, a land use consultant for Verizon Wireless, said that the new tower will help alleviate connection issues that customers have been experiencing in recent months.
The new tower will be located on the west side of interstate 25, along Bluffview Road in Wheatland.
Additionally, Cook said that new towers are being planned in the Chugwater area to improve connections along the I-25 corridor.
Eventually, she said that an additional tower will likely be proposed within city limits, as the current towers are nearly at maximum capacity for 4G service.
“That is Verizon’s effort to improve service around here,” she said.
Cook acknowledged connectivity issues that local customers have been experiencing, and high complaints in recent months, are a direct reason for the additional towers.
“[Verizon is] finally listening, and I think is what makes a difference – enough people have complained, and they are paying attention,” she said.
Landowner Art Parker asked at the meeting if there was a risk of home values decreasing as a result of the tower, something Cook said Verizon did not view as an issue.
“I really don’t believe that this will have a negative impact on the property value in that area,” she said. “If anything it should improve it because people want to be connected.”
In other business, the Board approved eight new anemometers in the Chugwater area.
NextEra Energy, a Florida-based business, will be using the towers to collect wind data in the area for potential wind.
According to Tom Factor, a representative for the company, transmission opportunities for wind farms have sparked the company’s interest in the area.
“The reason we are here is because we see possibilities in transmission systems,” he said.
All eight of the meters were approved for construction.