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5G closer to reality for Mitchell

Mitchell's ready for 5G technology. The Mitchell City Council finalized a small cell facility ordinance Wednesday during a special meeting at City Hall. It's a necessary step in cell phone providers having the ability to implement 5G technology, ...

Mitchell City Hall. (Republic file photo)
Mitchell City Hall. (Republic file photo)

Mitchell's ready for 5G technology.

The Mitchell City Council finalized a small cell facility ordinance Wednesday during a special meeting at City Hall. It's a necessary step in cell phone providers having the ability to implement 5G technology, which aims to provide local cell phone users with better network coverage.

Council members voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the ordinance before the new year begins.

To implement 5G technology in the city, the council needed to approve the ordinance to be in compliance with the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) order, which goes into effect in January, adding more reason to hold the special meeting before the new year.

Small cell facilities is the term used for 5G small cell antennas and equipment typically mounted on utility poles or other support structures, generally under 30 feet.

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Part of the ordinance encourages cell phone providers to build the new 5G antennas on existing poles to avoid clogging up the city with additional poles.

The ordinance also creates a permit system and outlines a procedural review. The FCC order addresses two types of fees, and this amount must include all applicable rental fees by the city, as well as any costs for maintenance, inspection, or other annual costs.

Following the approval of the small cell facility ordinance, the council dismissed for a 46-minute executive session with no action taken and then adjourned.

In other business

The council:

• Approved the final payment of Core Engineering and Construction, a company that provided testing services on materials used for the Mitchell Indoor Aquatic Center throughout the pool project at the Mitchell Recreation Center, which came out to a total of $10,656.

• Approved bills and authorized payments of recurring and other expenses in advance as approved by the finance officer.

• Approved Resolution No. 2018-67 for contingency transfers. A total of $147,300 is being requested, which leave a contingency balance of $419,038. The final contingency transfers for 2018 are as follows: $18,400 in repairs to City Hall (LED light replacement in the armory, emergency roof repair and emergency water heater repair); $31,000 in utilities for the Traffic Division and $9,000 for traffic light maintenance supplies; $12,900 for the Fire Division to cover retirement payouts that occurred in 2018; $80,000 for other financing uses, including $50,000 in cash into the Corn Palace fund and $30,000 to transfer cash from the general fund to the park department, due to insurance claims submitted but without reimbursement yet. When the insurance reimbursement arrives, the money will be returned to the general fund.

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• Recognized the absence of Councilman Dan Allen.

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