Monday, May 20, 2013

From Friends of Brockway Mountain: Public Meeting to discuss potential cell tower on Brockway will be May 22

COPPER HARBOR -- A public meeting will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at Grant Township Hall, 220 Gratiot St., Copper Harbor, to discuss and offer suggestions to mitigate the impact of the proposed 199-ft. cell tower on Brockway Mountain Drive.

This photo, taken from a lookout point on Brockway Mountain Drive, looking east, offers a view of the town of Copper Harbor, the harbor at left and Lake Fanny Hooe at right. The cell tower location would be about 3/4 of a mile west of this lookout point. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)

SBA Network Services, Inc. (SBA) and the State Historic Preservation Office have agreed that the tower will have an adverse visual impact on Brockway Mountain Drive, a site deemed eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. As a result SBA must take steps to mitigate the effect on Brockway Mountain Drive. If they aren't compelled to consider alternatives, then the TOWER and POWER LINES could impact one of Michigan's historic and scenic treasures.

The notice of the meeting states that "SBA has considered other sites but found none that provide for telecommunication coverage needs to be fully met, or are available for lease, due to zoning or mineral/mineral rights restrictions, or US Highway 41 protective easements."*

Since Fall, 2012, two of the three proposed towers in Keweenaw County have been erected, one at Delaware and one at Lake Medora. In addition, right of way along US 41 has been cleared and over 100 power poles have been installed from Gratiot Lake Road to Delaware to serve the new tower at Delaware. When discussing the Brockway Tower some of the concerns include the area to be served; the height, color, lighting and design of the tower; and how power will reach the proposed tower.

The tower would be visible not only from areas off Brockway Mountain but also in both directions at numerous scenic locations as you traverse the drive.

* Visit the Friends of Brockway Mountain Facebook page for more information. See also their slide show on the Brockway viewshed vs. the proposed cell tower.

Editor's Note: See our  April 18, 2012, article on this issue: "Updated: Public comments on Brockway Mountain tower location to be allowed at Keweenaw County Board meeting Apr. 18."

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