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Tower could improve coverage

A joint public hearing between the Drakes Branch Town Council and planning commission has been rescheduled from its original Oct. 2 date, according to Drakes Branch Mayor Denise Pridgen.

The hearing will be held Nov. 6 at 6:40 p.m. at the Drakes Branch Municipal Building to gather public comment for a proposed tower request in Drakes Branch.

According to a public notice from the town, the request is from Tower Assets Newco IX LLC — Tower Ventures, “to replace an existing 108-foot guy-wire cell tower with a 180-foot monopole tower at 850 Proctor Street … to support cellular communications and wireless data services.”

Tower Ventures Principal Executive Vice President Craig Weiss said a guy-wire cell tower typically has a lattice center and guides that go out for support of the structure.

He said this type of structure can take up a lot of space, although they are typically seen in rural areas. 

Referring to the current tower at 850 Proctor St., Weiss said “that’s an older tower that needs to be upgraded.”

Weiss explained the existing tower needs to be upgraded or replaced in order to meet standards.

He said the upgraded tower will take up less ground space, address the structural capacity and the additional height will allow for improved coverage.

Weiss said the upgraded tower will serve as a site for multiple tenants, including Verizon Wireless.

He said the company has noted many coverage issues in the area.

“There hasn’t been any opposition,” Weiss said.

The planning commission will meet immediately following the public hearing to vote on the matter and the town council meeting will follow at 7 p.m.