Meeting Materials

2022 Cell Tower Update

CURRENT STATUS OF PROPOSED BUG TUSSEL CELL TOWER

ON LOWER WYOMING ROAD

 

At the present time, an Iowa County Zoning Permit has been issued by the Office of Planning & Development to construct a 199-foot-tall telecommunications tower and facility.  Permit No. 7683 was issued April 6, 2021 to the applicant, Cloud 1 LLC/Bug Tussel and property owners Philip & Cheryl Limmex, at a site address of 6596 Lower Wyoming Road.

Permit No. 7683 was issued based on a revised application to the county in November of 2020 in which Bug Tussel claimed they would be using an existing driveway and access at 6600 Lower Wyoming Road and a driveway permit from the town was not needed.  This is not the position of the Town of Wyoming as this is a field entrance that, by ordinance, allows for only agricultural and recreational uses. Access to the proposed cell tower for construction and service needs to meet the standards of the town’s driveway ordinance for access to a town road as well as for the internal portion of the driveway and is subject to township review.

The County permit was issued per the provisions of the Iowa County Mobil Tower Siting Permit Ordinance, 400.13, enacted in 2014, and revised in 2021, to be consistent with 2013 WI Act 20 related to statewide standards to regulate telecommunications in Wisconsin, which took away almost all local control. Ordinance 400.13 initially included a provision that a driveway permit from the township was required before the county permit could be issued.  This provision was removed in 2021 by the County Board at the request of the telecommunications industry as being inconsistent with the provisions of WI Act 20. The township may still require a driveway permit.  Town of Wyoming maintains that a driveway permit is required regardless of whether a cell tower permit is granted by the County.

Some back ground.  In 2017 the applicants for the cell tower applied for a permit for driveway access to a town road and internal driveway to serve a cell tower at 6642 Lower Wyoming Road, a few hundred yards west of the current site which now has an Iowa County Zoning Permit.  There was a huge outpouring of opposition to the application for a driveway permit for the cell tower, including an ad placed in the Spring Green Home News. It was recommended by the Plan Commission to deny the permit application as it did not meet the provisions of the town’s Comprehensive Plan, and the Town Board denied the permit.  A similar application was made in 2019 at the same address, which was also denied.

In May of 2021, Bug Tussel retained Ramaker & Associates to do a review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act to determine effects on historic properties as required by the Federal Communications Commission.  Ramaker’s opinion was the proposed cell tower would have “No Effect” to the Direct Area of Potential Effect and “No Adverse Effect” to the Indirect Area of Potential Effect.  These terms have specific statutory definitions.

The Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office agreed with Ramaker’s opinion and signed off on the Section 106 review.  However, the Iowa County Historical Society and the Town of Wyoming Plan Commission and Town Board did not agree and as such submitted letters in opposition to the proposed cell tower, documenting their reasons.  In the process the Town of Wyoming was granted “Consulting Party Status”.  But to no avail, as the Wyoming Valley School and the White Church were deemed not impacted, and the historic, scenic and iconic Hwy 23 corridor was not considered historic for Section 106 review purposes.  As a Consulting Party, the Town of Wyoming requested through Ramaker & Associates to have their client locate a tower outside the heart of the Wyoming Valley.

In early 2021 Bug Tussel and Iowa County entered into a joint venture to install fiber optic cable from the Wisconsin River to the southern border of Iowa County, including an off-shoot to the proposed cell tower on Lower Wyoming Road.

With the Section 106 review completed, the next step will be for Limmex/Bug Tussel to apply for driveway access and internal driveway to the proposed cell tower at 6596 Lower Wyoming Road.

 

 

2017 Meeting Materials

July

Limmex Cell Tower

June