Scotts Bluff County officials have submitted an amended conditional use permit to the city of Gering in a second attempt to get approval for a new communications tower.
The Gering Planning Commission recommended against the permit in May, noting strong opposition to the original plan primarily due to the aesthetics of the structure that would be immediately adjacent to the old jail.
Under the amended permit, the tower would meet current zoning by topping out at 150 feet instead of 160 feet as originally proposed, and the fencing enclosing the base would more closely match that being used at the Gering Downtown Plaza, with the addition of green landscaping around it.
County Communications Director Ray Richards tells KNEB News the location of the tower is vital to getting signals through Mitchell Pass to a tower in the Wildcat Hills that provides communication services to 63 agencies covering several counties in the Panhandle and eastern Wyoming. “If we move this tower, we can’t shoot through the Pass,” says Richards. “We move it a block and a half south, go a block and a half north, we lose it. It’s a very, very small window for us to get that microwave shot through the Pass and hit the repeater tower.”
The amended permit request will go before the city Planning Commission July 16, and then the Gering City Council as early as July 22.