With many cellphone carriers, driving more than five miles out of Havre usually means you’ll have fewer bars than a teetotaler’s Friday night.
At Thursday’s Chinook City Council meeting, A Triangle Communications representative said the company wanted the city’s help in doing something about that.
Tim Nixdorf, Triangle’s Wireless Operations Manager, told the council that Triangle wants to add nine cellphone and wireless Internet antennas to the water tower on the southeast side of Chinook.
He explained what would be required: having nine antennas attached to the handrails around the tower, cables down the legs of the tower to connect to buried fiber optic lines and a few routing cabinets at the base of the tower.
Councilman Heath Richman asked if it would cost the city anything. Nixdorf said no. In fact Triangle would pay the city for the use.
Councilwoman Shawna Broadhead asked how soon Triangle could start. Nixdorf said they could start as soon as spring.
Councilman Keith Hanson asked if the lease agreement can include making Triangle clean out the tank every other year. The room laughed.
Nixdorf said the antennas would be a part of an expansion that Triangle, and its partners Nemont Wireless, are currently in the middle of, with new towers going up between Havre and Chinook, north of Cleveland, near Simpson and many more in Phillips county.
He also showed the council pictures of similar water tower antennas already installed in Highland Park.
The council is going to check with the city’s water plant staff about the proposal. Then at the next meeting in January members will meet with Triangle again to talk more details.