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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Crivitz Board Okays Permit For Tower

Issue Date: September 2, 2021

At its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 25, Crivitz Village Board approved a conditional use permit that will allow construction of a 155-foot communications tower in a grassy area behind the Krist Oil service station at 407 Hwy. 141 in Crivitz.

At 5:30 p.m. public hearing on the tower proposal, the board's Administrative and Development Committee was told that the tower will help bring better telecommunications service to people in the village and in the areas around it. Most members of the Village Board were present for the public hearing. There was discussion between board members and Mike Bieniek, Agent for the company planning to build the tower. No one from the public spoke against granting the needed conditional use permit.

In other business of the evening, the board was officially informed that 2020 Census figures recently released by the Wisconsin Department of Administration show the village population at 940 as of Jan. 1, 2021, which is a decrease of 44 residents, or 4.5 percent, since the 2010 census.

Christmas is coming, and the board is preparing for it. They approved purchase of $17,600 of new holiday decorations from Display Sales, with the not to exceed price to include cost of shipping and brackets.

After brief discussion the board approved an updated job description for the Deputy Clerk/Treasurer position, and then approved a $2 per hour wage increase, effective Jan. 1, 2022, for Barbara Uh, the person who currently holds that position. The motion sheet states that Uhl had merited the increase by assuming additional duties and certifications, and cited a study done to compare wages of people in similar positions statewide, as well as employee evaluations, which showed that there was an inequity in what Uhl has been paid.

The board formally approved an amendment to the Daycare Education Agreement with Crivitz Youth, Inc. which specifies a termination date of Dec. 31, 2024; turned over $3,792.30 to the state debt collection program for uncollectable citations; accepted a proposal from T&T Tree Trimming to remove two trees at the Well No. 2 site for $850; approved purchase of new bearings and seals for lift station #3 for not more than $1,500, and accepted a proposal from Richlen Excavating to clear brush and overhanging trees in 9th Alley in January of 2022, and include the cost in the 2022 budget.

They approved minutes, financial reports and vouchers as presented, and approved payment from the general fund of $2,000 to Richlen Excavating for burning the compost pile and $737 to Witt's Piggly Wiggly for supplies for various departments.

Bartender licenses were approved for Bobbie Knaus, Carrie Evitts, Carmen Schindel, Linda Johnson, Teri Shevy, Jessie Claymore, Kanittha Kruse, Jessica Stevenson, Renee Osten, Gail Barry, Michelle Leezer, Kelly Howler, Brenda Detaeje, Steven DeGrand, Vicki Marcusen, Tina Earley and Deborah Wiegand.

No one from the public had any comments either at the board meeting or at the 5:30 p.m. public hearing that preceded it except for a question from Town of Stephenson resident Dave Bentzler, who asked if the tower in Crivitz would help bring better service to the Town of Stephenson as well. He was told it will.

At the start of the public hearing Bieniek explained he is an agent for LCC Telecom Services on behalf of Vertical Bridge Development, LLC, and Nsighttel Wireless, LLC (doing business as Cellcom), for location of a "Mobile Service Support Structure" on property owned by Krist Oil and located at 407 USH 141, that is currently zoned as B3 ?? Highway Business District.

Bieniek said Vertical Bridge is a company that constructs towers, not a "carrier," and carriers - such as Cellcom - will contract with them.

He said this tower is part of the Cellcom build out, and the proposed tower location is critical to their build-out in this area. He said a proposed site outside the village was "impossible." He said the system is like a bicycle tire, in that if the center isn't where it needs to be the tire will not work correctly.

The proposed site is a 100 by 100 foot grassy area behind the convenience store toward the railroad tracks, and an area 75-feet square will be fenced in. This is a free standing tower, without guide wires.

While towers are not designed to fail, there is a safety feature that would cause the top part of the tower to "knuckle down" if it should be knocked over and cables would prevent it from toppling in the unlikely event that it should fall.

Bieniek described the location in a slightly urban area as somewhat unique, but it is intended to serve both as a capacity site and a traffic site.

Trustee Stew Swanson asked about a village owned site behind Willow Creek near the northern border of the village that had been considered by previous tower projects. He was told that the Cellcom engineer had said that site is too close to other towers on the north, and too far from those on the south.

He said location is near the intersection of two major thoroughfares is critical for improving service to users by increasing the volume of calls that can be handled.

Trustee George R. Gocht asked if it would benefit Crivitz citizens, and was told it will benefit both "traffic" by transmitting calls north, south, east and west, and by improving capacity to handle the volume of calls in Crivitz, which can be particularly heavy when vehicle traffic is heavy. "By having both added capacity and added coverage, you're benefitting everybody," Bieniek said.

Swanson wondered if it would benefit people west of the village, and Bieniek said it will serve as part of the grid so towers can hand off seamlessly, resulting in fewer interrupted phone calls. A new tower being built west of the village at County P and W is not currently part of the Cellcom system, but will lead to better overall communications, he said.

Steve Hodges, Wisconsin and Alaska Virtual Bridge project manager, participated in the public hearing via Zoom. He explained putting towers into service is a two step process. First the tower gets erected and after that is done the Cellcom crew will come in and hang their antennas on it and integrate that connection with their existing towers. Improvement in local service will not show until that happens, but adding capacity to serve the downtown Crivitz area is critical, he said.

Clerk/Treasurer Marilyn Padgett asked if the village could get space on the tower if it chooses to go back to radio communication for emergency services, and was told it could. She also mentioned the "Weather Bug" camera that used to be on the water tower to collect and share information for TV weather reports. She was told that could not be put on top of this new tower but could be mounted on a side. Hodges said he would be happy to help with that project and invited her to call him.

Bentzler noted the tower at the Stephenson Town Hall is full and asked if this tower would help with service in that area, 15 miles west of Crivitz. Hodges said his company is currently working with Building Inspector Jane Meissner on a tower at County W and County P west of Crivitz. Padgett commented it is good that Meissner is building inspector for both the Village of Crivitz and the Town of Stephenson.

The regular monthly Village Board meeting was scheduled to start at 6 p.m. The Administrative and Development Committee, which includes trustees Ross Behrendt, Mike Strandt and Chair Ginger Deschane, forwarded the conditional use request to the full board, where it was approved, enabling construction of the tower to proceed.

Among other items at a long meeting on Monday, Aug. 23 the Operations Committee had discussed discontinuing portions of Tena Avenue and G Alley, as well as parking issues at Don Brooks Park, park pavilion use, and fire department table use. There will be public hearings at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27 on resolutions for the alley discontinuances.

Meanwhile, the village continues seeking a full time police chief, and interviews of candidates were to be held in closed session starting at 3 p.m. at the Village Hall. No action is scheduled.


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