Commission backs cellphone tower upgrades

Mary Bailey
Community Editor

The cellphone towers on Old Marine Trail and Novak Avenue in Scandia are due for upgrades.

More capacity for data transmission will be the result if two Sprint/Nextel requests are approved.

The planning commission set the stage at their Nov. 7 meeting by recommending that the council approve amendments to the conditional use permits for both towers.

The plan is to replace three existing panel antennas, add two microwave dishes, and add six remote radio units to both towers.

Dale Runkle of Powder River Development Services in Eagan applied for the amendments. In a phone conversation after the meeting, Runkle said the purpose of the upgrades is not to increase the coverage area.

Instead, it will increase the capacity for data transmission, to help people using their phones to access the Internet.

The applications will go to the council for final approval.