New cell phone tower going up at BHS

After hearing no feedback from neighbors, the Blaine City Council April 3 unanimously approved a new 109-foot monopole cell tower at Blaine High School.

Planning and Community Development Director Bryan Schafer said there are already cell phone company antennas on a light tower by the high school’s ballfield that is 130 feet tall and was constructed in 1999. However, Schafer said there is not enough space for Verizon Wireless’ new equipment.

The new 109-foot monopole tower at Blaine High School will have a similar design to this tower near Highway 10 and Main Street in Coon Rapids, although the new Blaine tower will only have antennas from Verizon Wireless . This Coon Rapids tower has been around longer to accumulate more equipment. Photo by Eric Hagen

The new 109-foot monopole tower at Blaine High School will have a similar design to this tower near Highway 10 and Main Street in Coon Rapids, although the new Blaine tower will only have antennas from Verizon Wireless . This Coon Rapids tower has been around longer to accumulate more equipment. Photo by Eric Hagen

This new tower could ultimately hold antennas from other companies when the need arises in the future, according to Schafer.

The monopole and Verizon’s equipment cabinets will be inside a 1,152-square-foot fenced area just east of the tennis courts and about 200 feet north of 125th Avenue, Schafer said.

Blaine Planning Commission Chairperson Joe Ouellette said oak trees will provide some more visual screening at ground level and the location is far enough back on the high school site to make the new tower less noticeable than if it had been right next to 125th Avenue.

No residents spoke during the March 11 public hearing at the planning commission meeting or the April 3 council meeting on Verizon’s proposal.

“We’ve come a long ways in terms of our understanding for the needs of these towers,” Schafer said to the council. “Everyone uses these devices. Blaine High School is a hot spot in that regard. It’s a high-demand area.”

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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