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Council to consider finalizing small cell facility ordinance

A second reading to adopt and finalize a small cell facility ordinance for implement 5G technology in Mitchell will be the focus of Wednesday's special Mitchell City Council meeting.

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A second reading to adopt and finalize a small cell facility ordinance for implement 5G technology in Mitchell will be the focus of Wednesday's special Mitchell City Council meeting.

The meeting is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 26. It will be held at City Hall, 612 N. Main St.

According to City Attorney Justin Johnson, the small cell facility ordinance is necessary amid a push by cell phone providers to implement 5G technology in Mitchell, and the city has an allotted amount of time to process the application to be in compliance with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order, which will go into effect in January. Small cell facilities is the term for 5G small cell antennas and equipment which are typically mounted on utility poles or other support structures, generally under 30 feet.

While 5G technology aims to better network coverage for cell phone users, it requires dense placement of antennas around the city of Mitchell, which the council will discuss Wednesday in the second reading of the proposed ordinance.

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, and proper regulation is necessary to discuss location and design concerns.

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The ordinance would also create a permit system and outline 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.

Also on the agenda is:

• Action to approve bills and authorize payment of recurring and other expenses in advance as approved by the finance officer.

• Consider action to approve 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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Discussion will take place during the 6 p.m. meeting on Monday at City Hall