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AT&T tower project in Adams County tabled

A project for a new communications tower that could have aided cellphone reception in Adams County near Reeder has been tabled.

County commissioners decided Tuesday to pursue other options in their quest to erect a new tower to better suit cellular customers in the region. Besides being annoying for individuals wanting to use their cellphones, reception became a bigger issue following the Bucyrus fire disaster last fall, which highlighted the need for different emergency agencies to communicate with each other.

In December, Adams County commissioners voted to enter into an agreement with communications giant AT&T to build a new tower. Cost concerns and questions, however, were raised following the vote. Commissioners wondered whether paying possibly as much as several hundred dollars per month for rent to use an AT&T tower would be worth it in the long run.

"I think it would be best to pursue other options," said Commissioner Chuck Christman. "Sooner or later something else will come up. We've gotten along this long without something. It took the (Bucyrus) disaster to find out for sure that we need something, but let's wait and do it right."

A site survey that was tentatively scheduled for the site near Reeder was cancelled. County Emergency Manager Michele Marthaller told the commission that installing equipment the county would need on an AT&T tower could cost as much as $20,000. Adams County Sheriff Travis Collins agreed it would best for the county to pursue other cell tower options.

Burn ban lifted

After hearing from Marthaller, the commission agreed to rescind a burn ban for Adams County. The ban was effectively lifted as of Tuesday, although county officials urged those engaging in a controlled burn to contact their local fire department as a courtesy and use common sense, including a check of the weather.

The ban is expected to go back into effect in March.

Meeting to discuss animal incidents

A meeting to discuss the proper protocol of handing incidents involving animals will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 at the Reeder Community Center.

The state brand inspector and state veterinarian will facilitate the meeting and answer questions. A recent motor vehicle accident involving livestock in Adams County prompted the meeting.

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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