Data tower planned in Weyauwega
Mobilitie presents proposal to city council
By Angie Landsverk
A utility company wants to install a 120-foot mobile data tower on Weyauwega’s city limits.
Brent Michalek, a permitting manager for Mobilitie, attended last month’s meeting of the Weyauwega Common Council to present the company’s plan to place a tower in the city’s and the county’s right of way.
Mobilitie is the California-based utility company proposing this.
It wants to place the pole along Alfred Street (County Trunk F).
The company moved the proposed site slightly from where it initially wanted it.
City Administrator Patrick Wetzel said Mobilitie originally wanted to put the pole in front of the former Wolf River Sausage property, which is in a Tax Incremental Financing District.
“This is the location closest to where we needed to be to get the signals in and out,” Michalek said of the present proposed site.
The city of Weyauwega and the Waupaca County Highway Department are both reviewing the proposal, Wetzel said.
He said the city’s water, sewer and stormwater utilities all end there.
The company would need to receive permits from the city, including an electrical permit, before building the tower.
Mobilitie sells internet transmissions to wireless carriers. The carriers then sell the signals to individual smartphone and tablet users.
Michalek said Mobilitie is a competitive local exchange carrier and alternative communications carrier through Wisconsin Public Service (WPS).
“We went through the process with WPS to gain access to right of way,” he said. “Our intention is to use right of way. We don’t want to go on private property.”
Michalek said he has presented proposals to more than 100 communities.
Most of them are in Wisconsin. Some were also in Minnesota.
“This company is getting into smaller communities right away and increasing their data,” he said.
Michalek said people are using their smartphones more to look up information.
“It’s shifting to that direction,” he said.
Mayor Jack Spierings asked Michalek if Mobilitie is the only company constructing these types of transport poles in the right of ways of communities.
“Will someone else come here in a month?” the mayor asked.
Michalek said Mobilitie is in every state in the country.
“We are well ahead of anyone else doing this,” he said.
Others would be welcome to attach to the tower, but for a fee, Michalek said.
He also said that if additional poles are needed in Weyauwega in the future, the company would be flexible in working with the city.
If Mobilitie receives the necessary permits, the pole could be built within the next couple of months, Michalek said.
“Deployment is roughly 18 months,” he said.