(Times Record (Fort Smith, AR) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 14--The first cellular tower at a Fort Smith city park is expected to be in the air next month with service following two months later, according to the company in charge.
On Feb 4, the Fort Smith Board of Directors voted 6-1 to enter into a land-lease agreement with Fayetteville-based Smith Communications LLC to erect a 170-foot tower at Carol Ann Cross Park. The company also plans to build a fenced-in area at the tower's base for components.
"That agreement has been signed," Parks Director Mike Alsup said Wednesday.
David Reynolds with Smith Communications said he's already been through the federal permitting process, which included approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, among others.
"It all turned out just like we thought; there will be no lights required of any kind on the tower," Reynolds said Thursday. "I would say probably the middle of March to the end of March the tower will be up. Probably another 60 days after I finish the tower, Verizon and AT&T will come in and put their antennas on.
"That's probably about the time that we'll actually start making phone calls."
The tower itself, he said, can be erected in a matter of hours.
"Once we get to the foundation point of it, it will take about six to eight hours at the site," he said.
The company plans to erect a flagpole-style tower in which antennae are housed. It will be located just inside the woods between two pavilions in the park's southern area.
The Fort Smith Planning Commission unanimously backed Smith Communications' proposal in January, but the Parks Commission failed to agree on a tower location within the park. Two members were in favor of the Smith Communications site, while the other two who voted favored a suggestion that the tower be located farther from a neighboring nursing home and closer to South 74th Street.
AT&T approached the city with a similar request in June 2013. The company initially proposed a cell tower at the park's northern edge along 74th Street, which upset some residents who live nearby. AT&T's representatives agreed to pursue a location at the park's southern end instead, but Smith Communications ultimately offered the city a more appealing lease agreement at $1,500 monthly.
The lease agreement specifies that revenue will be used only for improvements to Carol Ann Cross Park.
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