by Alan McArthur
The Platte City Board of Aldermen Tuesday night approved a conditional use permit for Verizon Wireless to install a cell tower at Harrel Ferrel Park at the corner of Fourth Street and Hwy. 92.
The permit allows Verizon to move forward with negotiations with the city for final approval and a building permit.
The proposed tower is designed to be located in the park and replace one of the light stands for the eastern- most ball field.
According to the request, the tower is designed to be 100 feet tall and replace one of the existing 60 foot light poles. Verizon will then move the lights from the pole taken down and place them on the 100 foot pole.
Because Verizon was required to get a conditional use permit, a public hearing was held during the meeting to take public comment. No citizens spoke in favor or against the proposal.
“The conditional use permit requires a public hearing to garner input from neighbors,” said Keith Moody, city administrator. “Not all site plans come before the board.”
One issue brought up by the planning and zoning committee was the issue of safety around the pole. Verizon agreed to either move the starting rung of a ladder from eight feet off the ground to 20 feet, or enclose the ladder to secure it.
“Our insurance company feels either way is appropriate,” said Moody. “It takes the opportunity to climb it away from people.”
The Parks Board has previously reviewed the application by Verizon and approved of it.
“The board sees it as a win-win situation,” said Dannie Stamper, parks director.
The board approved the permit with a vote of 5-0.
Verizon will still need to be approved for a building permit, which will include the price Verizon will pay to the city to lease the space. According to Moody, the price negotiated so far is $1,200 per month which will go into the parks budget since the tower is located on park land. Similar agreements have been made for the cell phone devices on top of the orange water tower, the money from those leases goes into the water budget.
Moody said the final permit could be before the board as early as the next board meeting.
The board also introduced the new city building inspector/codes enforcer. The city hired Matthew Denney to replace Tom Wooddell. Denney previously worked for the city of Kansas City as a building inspector for four years and before that was in the military.
Wooddell, while working at his new position with the city of Riverside, will continue to do inspections for Platte City during the evening and will train Denney.
The city approved an agreement with the Platte City Area Economic Development Council, PCEDC, to pay $10,000 for services. The PCEDC assists businesses in finding the Platte City area and advertising the available retail spaces as well as helping existing businesses advertise their services.