Hull Talks Utility Pole, Cell Tower and Board Functions
By Kate Knight
The Town of Hull Board of Supervisors met Monday night to discuss three key agenda items – the first being Wisconsin Technology Networking LLC’s (WITN) proposal to install a utility pole on Larry’s Drive.
Board supervisors drove out to the 1500 block of Larry’s Drive to see the proposed location for the utility pole installation, before returning to the municipal building for further discussion on the item at the meeting.
This past March the town received an application from WITN for a right-of-way permit to install a 120-foot utility pole at the proposed location. At the time, the town had 60 days to act on the permit application. However, within the time period a WITN representative, Neil Bora, spoke over the phone with town staff stating that WITN would be formally requesting their application be put on hold.
“I think we should confirm that in writing,” town chairman John Holdridge suggested to the board. Holdridge added that the town should look into a “contractual arrangement” with WITN. He then referred to a proposed contract Waupun’s city attorney created in response to a similar application from WITN, which could be used as an example for Hull.
“Well, I’ve reviewed the contract, and I think that it’s something we can adapt and use,” supervisor David Pederson said.
After some discussion on exploring other locations for the utility pole – possibly farther north on Larry’s Drive – the town board moved to develop a contractual arrangement to submit to WITN and write a letter to confirm the hold on WITN’s permit application with a suggestion of looking into another site for the utility pole.
The second significant item on the evening’s agenda was an update regarding U.S. Cellular’s possible cell tower location at Hull’s municipal building.
The town received an email on May 9 from residents Justin and Amanda Weir, who, according to Weir’s email, “will be seeking legal counsel for the issues about the cell tower.” Previous to Hull’s municipal building, a potential location for the cell tower involving Weir’s property was considered, to which some residents in the neighborhood were not in favor of.
In the same email Weir stated, “Under Wisconsin Legislature 66.0404, it states that the town may not have a cell tower on its property, and/or deny permits of home owners private land to have a cell tower placed. This email is just an FYI informing you that we will be hiring a lawyer.”
The board also received a copy of a letter from the president and CEO of U.S. Cellular, Kenneth Meyers, in response to residents Paul and Tami Kubowski who voiced their concerns with the company about the initial possible cell tower location.
Meyers responded stating that the company “may be able to work with another site, assuming we are able to obtain a viable lease and receive all necessary approvals.” Currently that potential cell tower site is now Hull’s municipal building, which is being explored as an option.
Holdridge said years ago Sprint had considered a cell tower at the municipal building site, but the project was later dropped by Sprint. Jim Weiman, a representative of U.S. Cellular, is currently working with the town and looking into the placement of the cell tower at the municipal building site.
The board carried a motion to accept the current status report on the item.
During the final agenda topic, the board discussed a suggestion by Holdridge to consider possible functions of the Board of Supervisors.
In a memo to the board, Holdridge’s suggested provisions included the creation of a board administrative committee and a review of monthly expenditures, both tasks in which supervisors would rotate responsibility for.
In the memo Holdridge stated, “I have suggested some provisions that would get town board more involved and perhaps straighten our administrative procedures and decision making.”
“Let’s take a little time to digest this, and maybe have another meeting, and we can talk about what we want to do and where we want to go with it,” supervisor Rick Stautz said to the board.
After a few questions and brief discussion, the board decided to bring the issue back for further discussion at its June 6 meeting.
Holdridge added that such committees might be helpful for upcoming issues, and to make sure members of the public know “who the decision makers are” and who is elected on the board.
The board then carried a motion to table future discussion on the item at its next meeting on Monday, June 6 at 5:30 PM.