On Wednesday, September 19, at the regular meeting of the Pinal County Board of Supervisors in Florence, the Special Use Permit sought by Verizon Wireless to erect a 150-foot cell phone tower in Oracle was approved by the three supervisors in a 3 to 0 vote.
A cell tower owned by AT&T has existed near central Oracle for a number of years, as has a second AT&T tower located adjacent to and north of Arizona 77 just west of town..
But the controversy over where to place a badly needed additional tower to support the cell phone subscribers served by competitive telecommunication firms has delayed a third tower for eight years.
Finally last year the logjam was broken when District One Supervisor Pete Rios facilitated an informal agreement between all parties to seek alternate sites for the tower, other than the one previously selected in the center of historic Oracle, and dangerously close to the Oracle-Briggs EMS helispot, which serves the TriCommunity with emergency air ambulance service.
The final site chosen by Verizon Wireless is adjacent to the existing AT&T Tower north-northeast of the intersection of American Avenue and Oracle Turbine Road,and over one-half mile northeast of of the center of Oracle.
Chad Ward of Pinnacle Consulting, Inc. – agent for Verizon Wireless for this project, and Ms. Nancy Fulks, Manager of the Verizon Wireless Network Real Estate Division, attended the September 19 meeting.They indicated informally that the permitting process necessary for beginning tower site prep, and starting construction of the tower and needed support facilities should be completed soon.
They would like to see site construction begin quickly, and hopefully be completed before the end of CY2012.
Stay tuned.The fat lady has not yet begun to sing, but I think we can almost hear her doing her scales in the near distance!
/s/ Ross R. Hopkins
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