Verizon withdraws application for cell tower in Dundee, leaving city officials puzzled

Dundee officials were surprised by a move by Verizon Wireless to withdraw an application for plans to build a 74-foot cell tower on Highway 99W behind the fire station.

City Administrator Rob Daykin said they were surprised when Verizon withdrew its application and added that while the cell phone providers indicated they would return with a new application, it wasn't a sure thing.

Verizon's representation, Acom Consulting, withdrew the application Sept. 20 to discuss additional design details. Verizon had requested a continuance back in August to put additional materials together. Daykin said this was surprising mainly because Verizon had reduced its intended tower from an original 105 feet down to the most recent plan for 74 feet.

"So it's wait and see," Daykin said. "It did surprise us that they are not moving forward."

This is not the first time Verizon has attempted to build a cell tower in town. In 2016, they sought to build a tower adjacent to the town's fire station to address capacity issues. The tower there at the time was no longer able to keep up with the number of calls coming in, leading to dropped calls and slower data speeds. The tower was also planned to increase 9-1-1 communications in the area.

In August 2017, Verizon came before the city planning commission for a proposed 95-foot tower at 759 N. Highway 99W.

Reid Stewart, a consultant for Verizon, didn't respond to a request for comment for this story.

Daykin said there were some individuals who came forward during the most recent planning commission meeting to contest the tower, saying they were developers concerned about future development plans, or people who live adjacent to the property that were concerned about the long-term health impacts of living near a tower.

However, he said it was not the "general population" that came out to protest the building of the cell tower.

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