Future of cell tower in Osage uncertain

KIMT News 3 – City leaders in Osage want to stop the problem of dead spots, which is why they’re proposing to build a new tower at Seventh and State Streets. They’ve been negotiating for months with US Cellular. But the past has come back to haunt them because downtown is a designated historical area. That’s why some Mitchell County historians are upset.

“They indicated that they would support this project had there been a monetary gift from US Cellular to their organization or some high price technical equipment given to one of their projects,” Mayor Steve Cooper said.

However Cooper didn’t like that suggestion.

“Because of my objection they then decided that they could not support this project,” he said.

Less than a year ago a new cell tower popped up in downtown Clear Lake which also raised concerns.

“There were some social media rumblings on what is it going to look like, how is this going to change the look of downtown,” Libbey Patton from the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce said. “But when it was all said and done people really don’t even notice it anymore and what it’s done for connectivity downtown, especially when we have big event is phenomenal.”

We spoke with Penney Morse with the Historic Preservation Society and she explains the group recommended the tower be moved to a different spot, or put in two towers on each side of the town. In other words, a large tower doesn’t fit in with the “historic” look of downtown.

Cooper argues one tower on the city owned plot of land would be beneficial.

“In small towns any sources of revenue we can find we look for that you know this is a way for us to control property taxes and so forth,” he said.

If the cellular tower does go in the city of Osage would profit about $70,000 over the next 10 years.

US Cellular has to respond to the concerns to get permission to build.

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