County OKs building of cell tower near Simla

195-foot structure may go up in next few months

Posted 7/15/16

The Elbert County Board of County Commissioners granted Bridger Wireless Inc. a special-use permit for the construction of a cellular tower along with associated equipment buildings on a 68-acre parcel near the town of Simla at a regularly scheduled …

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County OKs building of cell tower near Simla

195-foot structure may go up in next few months

Posted

The Elbert County Board of County Commissioners granted Bridger Wireless Inc. a special-use permit for the construction of a cellular tower along with associated equipment buildings on a 68-acre parcel near the town of Simla at a regularly scheduled BOCC meeting on July 6.

Darren Hunter of Centerline Solutions in Golden made the original presentation on behalf of Bridger Wireless at a public hearing during a BOCC meeting on May 25.

Though the approval of the tower does not include provisions for antennas or dishes, the 195-foot tower one mile south of Simla will have the ability to accommodate up to four wireless carriers.

Bridger Wireless is currently in negotiation with an undisclosed wireless carrier to provide service to the area, and hopes that construction can begin in the next few months.

“The last hurdle was getting the zoning approval,” said Derek Dye of Bridger Wireless. “As soon as I have a signed lease, I will start construction.”

Once Bridger reaches agreements with individual carriers, the carriers must apply to the county for use permits to mount antennas.

“It's definitely less than a 60-day process for the tower to get constructed,” said Dye. “It's kind of like building a house. It sure looks like a lot goes on in the first three months, and then it looks like nothing is happening while everybody's inside doing the finish work.”

Though in negotiations with a single carrier, Dye anticipates that additional companies will express interest in leasing antenna space.

“We have designed and built the tower with the foundation to support four wireless carrier tenants. In a perfect world, we would have four on every tower we ever build. Traditionally, we start out with interest from one or two when we start a project, but we have the space and capacity for up to four,” Dye said.

In addition to the wireless companies who will lease space on the tower, Bridger has made space available to Elbert County Emergency Services at no cost.

“We don't traditionally like to do that because that's how we make our living, but in this case the county worked with us pretty nicely, and we did allow them to place some equipment on the tower.”

The original application for the tower was made in November, and the Elbert County planning commission reviewed and recommended approval on May 3.

“I wish I could start on it tomorrow,” Dye said. “We're at the hard phase, which is wrapping up negotiations with our tenant.”

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