Dec 17, 2015

County requires natural color for new Clark cell tower

The Clark area is getting a new cell phone tower — and Park County commissioners are requiring it to be an earthy color.

On Tuesday, commissioners approved a special use permit to allow Bridger Wireless to build a 199-foot-high cellular tower off of Wyo. Highway 294 (the Badger Basin Highway). The spot is about a quarter-mile east of the highway’s junction with Wyo. Highway 120, or, as Commissioner Bucky Hall put it, “it’s in the middle of nowhere.”

This nondescript spot is expected to be the site of a new cell phone tower. Photo courtesy Park County Planning and Zoning
Commissioners personally attested to the need for better service in that area.

“That’s terrible cell coverage out in there,” said Commission Chairman Joe Tilden.

The board made its approval contingent on the tower being “earth-toned in color” to better blend in with the surroundings. The county typically requires wind turbines to be a natural color and Commissioner Tim French said it would be “a shame” if the new cell tower was not.

Commissioners Lee Livingston and Hall agreed and voted to require an earth tone.

Commissioner Loren Grosskopf opposed the requirement, mentioning the cost and wondering if all the other cell towers in Park County would have to be repainted.

Bridger Wireless didn’t have a representative at Tuesday’s meeting and therefore didn’t get to weigh in on the color scheme.

The Dallas-based company has considered building a cell tower in Park County before: In 2014, Bridger Wireless proposed putting one up between Powell and Cody, off of John Wayne Lane. However, the company withdrew the proposal after running into opposition from neighbors and learning that AT&T had already gotten permission to build a tower in that same area.

Only one citizen commented on the new Clark area tower at last month’s Park County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, and it wasn’t clear whether they supported or opposed the project, said assistant planner Kim Dillivan. He said the proposed tower, sited on property owned by Switchback Ranch LLC, will have no close neighbors.

Bridger Wireless’ business involves building towers and then leasing them to cellular providers. The company did not tell the county when the tower might be built or what providers might use it, Dillivan said.


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