Fate of Verizon tower rests in city’s hands; City cites county’s misstep on access issue

Contractors hired to build a new telecommunications tower for Verizon Communications Inc. in Dunn County now are facing gridlock with their construction.

By BRYCE MARTIN

Herald Editor

Posted April 5, 2013 

KILLDEER — Contractors hired to build a new telecommunications tower for Verizon Communications Inc. in Dunn County now are facing gridlock with their construction.

The Dunn County Board of Commissioners and Dunn County Planning & Zoning board recently were approached with the construction plans to build a new cellular tower for the communications giant, granting approval for its location.

Land that the tower would be constructed upon, however, is jointly in the jurisdiction of the county and city of Killdeer.

A complex issue arose when the matter was handed off to the Killdeer City Commission on Monday.

“The tower itself is fine,” Killdeer City Administrator Dawn Marquardt said. “Everyone wants that Verizon tower.”

The tower was proposed for construction on land east of Killdeer, along Highway 200, within the Sabrosky subdivision, which consists of an industrial and RV park.

“The access road is going through a lot and the city wants it re-platted with an easement road across there if it’s going across there just for access,” said Ron Fetting, building inspector for the city of Killdeer. “Instead of just having a road going through the middle of a lot, we want it re-platted into two different lots with a road through it.”

Verizon said after they signed the lease agreement for the land that it was not their initial choice to place an access road at that location, Fettig said.

“The access road wasn’t supposed to go there, Sabrosky’s changed it,” he said, referring to landowners Dwight and Karen Sabrosky.

If constructed according to current plans, the access road would cross existing utility and drainage easements belonging to the city.

The Sabrosky’s also would have the legal right to shut down the access road that would serve the tower.

“It should have been on the county’s side because that road got changed after – we didn’t see anything about the road until it came from the county that they had approved it,” Fettig said.

Dunn County Commissioner Daryl Dukart said Tuesday he was not aware there was an access issue.

Killdeer commissioners were concerned and moved to deny approval on the project until the access issues are resolved.

“I didn’t think you could approve zoning without access,” Marquardt said. “People doing the tower are quite concerned.”

Killdeer City Attorney Nate Bouray advised the commissioners that they had to send a letter to the county, then proceed through the negotiation process to settle the access road dispute.

Contact Bryce Martin at bmartin@countrymedia.net.


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