LARNED — Can you hear me now?
Verizon customers in Rozel and Garfield in rural Pawnee County will be able to answer that question when they receive a stronger cell-phone signal in the near future.
The Pawnee County commission approved resolutions Monday for conditional use permits to construct cell-phone towers in Rozel and Garfield after a recommendation from the Pawnee County Joint Planning Commission. The commission approve the resolutions until a 14-day protest period had elapsed for the planning commission. The resolutions are effective upon publication in the Larned Tiller & Toiler, the official county newspaper.
The permit is granted to SBA Tower, Inc. for the purpose of constructing a 190-foot tower, with an option to extend to 250 foot, south of Rozel next to U.S. 156. The self-supporting communications tower will feature equipment at the base of the tower.
A permit is also granted to Horvath Communications for the purpose of constructing a 195-foot free-standing tower that will feature equipment at the base of the tower, near U.S. 56 and Pawnee Street in Garfield.
“Any service that brings cell-phone towers into area towns is a plus for Pawnee County,” said Kathy Bowman, Rice County commissioner. “It’s a plus for the area.”
Trevor Wood, Selective Site Consultants, Overland Park, brought the proposal to the commission for SBA and Horvath. Wood said the time frame for construction and installation of the towers is undetermined at this time, but will proceed as soon as possible.
Wood said the cell-phone repeater towers will help signal strength for Verizon customers, especially indoors. He said there is an opportunity for other cell-phone companies to work with SBA and Horvath to use the cell-phone tower.
Mark Wagner, Pawnee County emergency management-zoning director, resides in Garfield.
“It should definitely help us receive a better signal if we’re indoors or enclosed areas in town,” he said.
Wood has represented Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless before Kansas cities and counties.