CHEBOYGAN COUNTY- With the increase in the number of cell phone and wireless communication towers in the county, the Cheboygan County Road Commission has decided to develop a policy regarding the structures in the road right of way.
“This is something that has been coming, slowly working its way up from downstate,” said Road Commission Engineer and Manager Brent Shank. “They’re private companies, quasi-utilities, they don’t qualify as utilities under the Federal Communications Act. But they are looking to install towers.”
Some of the towers that have been recently installed in the area are 120 feet tall.
Shank said there is a very large lawsuit in Genesee County right now over one of the towers, which is why many of the road commissions in the state have been asked to adopt a policy regarding the structures.
“The County Road Association is recommending that we adopt a policy that allows installation of these facilities in our right of ways,” said Shank. “They’re feelings are, we better do it before the legislature tells us how we’re going to do it. More of a let’s work with them instead of against them kind of thing.”
What the CRA is recommending is that road commissions do a lease agreement with the companies, or issue a license, to have the structure in the road right of way. The road commission would also have to issue a permit to construct the tower as well.
As part of that license, there would also be an annual fee charged to the company for the maintenance of the facility, similar to what is issued to utility companies for…
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