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Atlas Township nears deal on new cell tower



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February 23, 2011 - The Atlas Township Board of Trustees recessed into an hour-long closed session for negotiations with Fortune Wireless Corporation for a new cell tower in the township. No resolution was passed on Monday night, however.

Township planning chairperson Rick Misek said the venture could net $2,000 per month for township coffers.

"Right now we are eyeing behind the township hall on Gale Road for a location for the tower," he said.

The planning commission had received an application in October for a new cell tower proposed by AT&T to be erected near Burpee Road between Gale and Vassar roads. The 177-foot structure, to be built and owned by Indiana-based Fortune Wireless Corporation, is necessary, according to the application submitted to the township, to meet coverage objectives reducing dropped calls.

"The tower will be an eyesore—a public nuisance," said Misek. "The township cell tower ordinance requires if possible to construct the tower on township property, unless the tower must be built on private land for coverage reasons. Where they have requested the tower is only about 4,000 feet from the township hall and 2,500 feet from an elementary school."

Rick Misek, planning commission chairperson said the request is the first for the township in about 10 years.

"So far there's been enough room on the existing towers in the township," said Misek. "It's understandable that a new tower may be necessary—about 20 percent of American households do not have copper wire going into their home. Many have changed to wireless for all their communications."

Township attorney David Lattie will be in negotiations with Fortune Wireless Corporation regarding the length of the pending lease agreement.

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