Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, July 30, 2001

Highway 7 site proposed for wireless communication tower

By Patrice Waldron

Winsted Township is considering the placement of a wireless communications tower on the property of Agatha Horstmann located at 3768 Highway 7.

This is about three-quarters of a mile west of the intersection of McLeod County Road 1 and Highway 7.

Winsted Township Clerk Nina Stifter received a letter from Jason Hall, real estate manager of American Tower Corporation's (ATC), Minnesota office. Details of tower construction, location, and company philosophy were included in the letter.

Hall with attend the next Winsted Township Board meeting Thursday, Aug. 9 to answer questions from the public.

The meeting will be at 8 p.m. in the Winsted City Hall. Township residents may direct immediate questions to Stifter at (320) 485-4732.

It is proposed that a 300-foot Guyed Communication Tower Facility be built at the above mentioned location.

The site, along with several others in McLeod County, is part of a comprehensive wireless network plan for the county. ATC currently has about 13,000 towers nationwide, and leases the tower space to personal communication services, paging, cellular, radio, and television broadcasters.

Part of the plan, aside from offering increased communication service to the community, the tower has been offered to the county for the placement of its emergency service/sheriff antennas.

In the letter, Hall also stated that in order to meet the challenges of today, ATC developed a program called Smart Tower. The purpose of the plan is to maximize the amount of coverage and minimize the number of towers throughout the county.

The tower facility, built on land leased from Horstmann, will be secured within a six-foot chain link fence with three strands of barbed wire. The facility will comply with the strict guidelines set forth by the FCC and the FAA, which are designed to protect public safety.

After the Winsted Township Board reviews ATC's request, the request is set to be reviewed by the McLeod County Planning Commission Aug. 22.

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