New cell tower proposed in Condon

A new communications tower could come to the center of Condon in the future, but little has been shared on what purpose the tower has, when it could be built or what cell services will be carried on it.

The Pathfinder originally published the public notice of a new cell tower on Nov. 30. It is unclear why the notice was published. The tower would be owned by Harmoni Towers, one of the largest tower companies in America.

Since the land is unzoned, there is no requirement from the state of Montana to notify the public or hold a meeting, according to Zach Jones, a planner for Missoula County. All a company needs to do is get a permit from the county to build the tower, Jones said.

As of Dec. 1, no permit for a tower had been applied for. The cell tower would go at 108 Log Yard Road, located near Liquid Louies and the Upper Swan Valley History Museum. Jones said that there could be a federal rule that regulates cell towers near places of historical importance, but no law he is aware of that would immediately delay the project.

The land that would house the cell tower belongs to Jim Robertson, who runs Rustics of Montana, a builder of handcrafted log cabins. Robertson told the Pathfinder he was recently approached by Harmoni Towers, and agreed to use his land.

Robertson said he agreed to have the cell tower so that there is more access to service across the valley, which he said is lacking. There is one functional cell tower behind the Condon Community Church, but that tower is exclusively used by AT&T.

Robertson said he still doesn't know much about the details of the cell tower. He said he doesn't even know where its location on his property would be.

"As long as it isn't in my front yard I am okay with it," Robertson said.

The Pathfinder reached out to EBI Consulting, a Pennsylvanna firm representing Harmoni Towers and its service client. The Pathfinder made multiple calls to members of the company, and eventually got a response from its environmental science employees.

Kyle Stringfellow confirmed to the Pathfinder that the site would be used as a cell tower, not for other types of communication.

One hour later, Kathryn Cram, a public notice specialist who filed the notice in the Pathfinder, called the Pathfinder back and rescinded anything spoken by EBI earlier.

"I'm not allowed to share that information," Cram said.

The Pathfinder has continued to request more information on the tower. Cram said she would reach out to the client looking to build the tower for a response, which has yet to be named.


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