AP NEWS

Williston officials to regulate cell towers

December 11, 2016 GMT

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Williston officials are preparing a draft proposal to regulate cell tower installations by internet and cellphone providers.

Meetings were held recently to gather feedback from local technology companies, business owners and school administrators. Officials hope the meetings will result in a new ordinance that considers technology needs, aesthetics and residents’ health concerns, the Williston Herald (http://bit.ly/2ghA1oT) reported.

The focus of the meetings was the installation and placement of small cellphone and internet towers or poles.

“We’re looking for creative ways where facilities can be deployed in town without building more of these poles,” Mayor Howard Klug said. “It’s technology that we know is coming, but how do we handle it in such a way that the city manages and controls it.”

The Williston Basin International Airport, a new high school and the local hospital are all under consideration as possible locations, officials said.

Local companies offered no objection to the ordinance, and agreements are already in place between the area’s internet providers and power companies.

The draft will be presented to the City Commission when completed, said Principal Planner Rachel Laqua.

“We’re looking at a fairly fast timeline,” she said.

Currently, around 300 wood poles with towers are located throughout Williston.

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Information from: Williston Herald, http://www.willistonherald.com