New Tower Could Come To Star Valley

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Coming in at 80 feet tall, 360 pounds and located just off Highway 260, it’ll be hard to miss this communications tower in Star Valley.

The proposed tower, which won’t be disguised as a flagpole or saguaro cactus, like cell phone towers in other communities, will sit next to C&M Communications’ office at 77 Walters Lane. The building is adjacent to the Star Valley Veterinary Clinic and Hellsgate Fire Department.

If the Star Valley Town Council approves a conditional use permit for the tower Tuesday night, C&M owner Christopher Salgot says the tower will enable his business to monitor local and statewide transmitter sites.

“We provide radio communication services to numerous school districts, business users and many local public safety entities in Gila County, including the Hellsgate Fire Department,” Salgot said.

If installed, the tower will come in as the tallest structure in the small town. Some worry it could pose a safety risk if it ever toppled.

Alan Hallman, owner of the Star Valley Veterinary Clinic, said in a letter to the town that several businesses, including his own, would be impacted if the tower ever fell.

“There are certainly much better and safer sites to place such a large tower,” Hallman said.

Salgot told the Star Valley Planning and Zoning Commission that the pre-made tower is self-supporting and not designed to fall. If it did fall, it would likely fold over before it fell from its base.

Currently, C&M has antennas installed on a 90-foot steel tower in a parking lot next to the Division of Motor Vehicles in Payson. Those antennas would be moved to the new tower if it is constructed, Salgot said.

Star Valley Town Manager/Attorney Tim Grier said even if the council wanted to prevent construction of the tower, “it doesn’t look as though we can do anything to stop it.”

This is because the “the Federal Communications System provides that the installation of a communication tower cannot be refused,” said Joe Janusz, Star Valley building official.

Grier said the town has due diligence to make sure the tower is safe.

The council will discuss this item and several more starting at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday at the Lamplighter RV Park recreation room, 3933 E. Highway 260.

Also on the agenda is the first public hearing regarding possible projects for the 2011/2012 Community Development Block Grant program. The town has $280,000 to spend over the next two years. So far, proposed projects include public parks, detention basins, a townwide drainage plan, water crossings or floodwater gates, which could regulate the flow of water coming into town.

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