Alternate site chosen as AT&T final location

AT&T builds new tower near Skyview

Posted: Monday, August 27, 2001

Those driving past Skyview High School these days might wonder why a driveway is being built next to the school property.

The drive is to provide access to a new site for a telecommunications tower being built by AT&T Wireless.

"The new site is being relocated from a site in the basin of Soldotna," said AT&T Director of Corporate Communications Mike Broom.

The tower has been somewhat of a bone of contention in the past.

Originally, AT&T wanted to build it on Kenai Peninsula Borough property on the hill near Skyline Drive.

The next building site was off of Skyline Drive, near Roosevelt and Lincoln avenues. Residents were concerned about the effect such a structure would have on property values.

They also voiced concern about the aesthetics of such a structure. There are no utility poles in the area, as utilities are buried underground.

Others were worried about interference with low-flying aircraft using the Soldotna Municipal Airport.

After hearing from residents at a special Soldotna City Council work session in February, AT&T looked into the alternate location, owned by the borough, off the northeast corner of Skyview.

"The relocation is to a place where the community has actually suggested and endorsed," said Broom.

The purpose of the new location is to extend and improve service coverage in the Soldotna area. Without the interference of surrounding hills and trees, reception should be clearer and coverage should be broader.

AT&T does not have any plans for building additional towers in the near future, but the company is continually reviewing customers' needs, Broom said.

The current project should be complete within a few weeks and customers should see a difference shortly afterward, he said. He did not give a specific date of completion.

In the meantime, Broom said he is pleased that the community and his company were able to work together.

"It really was a win-win. We really enjoy working with the people of a community," he said.

"It feels good to do that kind of business."

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