After months of deliberation about an appropriate location, a new cell tower soon will provide additional service to the southern half of McPherson.
The McPherson City Commission unanimously approved the tower to be built on the west side of Treatment Plant Road, between the Union Pacific Railroad and the municipal wastewater treatment plant. The tower will be a 150 foot galvanized, unpainted steel tower and designed to host at least two cellular service providers.
The former proposed site of the tower was near McPherson airport’s runway eight. Due to safety concerns that the tower would present to planes using the runway, especially during crash scenarios, city commissioners voted to choose another site on Nov. 27.
Tom Stinemetze, planning and zoning administrator, said the tower is the final one of four for the city that will provide 4G cellular coverage to the city of McPherson. The tower approved will primarily cover the west and south sections of the city.
The city approved a special-use permit for the tower, which will be leased to Elite Wireless.
In other business, the commission:
• Heard a report from Brad Eilts, director of McPherson Industrial Division Corporation. Eilts reported McPherson is succeeding in growing its industrial workforce due to programs like Go McPherson. Eilts also reported a decline in the unemployment rate for McPherson county in the 2012, going from a rate of 4.2 percent in the beginning of the year to a rate of 3.7 percent by year end.
• Approved an ordinance to apply some planning restrictions to the Foxfire Addition, which is on the north side of Avenue A, east of the McPherson Cemetery and about a quarter mile west of Centennial Drive, on either side of and between Foxfire and Thunderbird streets.
• Approved a budget of $10,892 for the McPherson police department to purchase two portable radios and one mobile radio. Commissioners also approved a budget of $11,367 for the fire department to purchase three portable radios. Fire Chief Jeff Deal said the fire department has regulations on portable radios that require more expensive technology, including water resistant material.
• Approved a request by McPherson Public Works for $15,000 to continue the sidewalk maintenance program into 2013.
• Approved a budget of $2,013 to repair the trolley used by the McPherson Convention and Visitors Bureau.
• Approved a special-use permit for the establishment of the private club Downtown Underground at 122 S Main St. The club now awaits a state-issued private club license.