As a result of the March 16 public meeting at Breezy Point Resort regarding the proposed placement of a Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System tower in Mission Township of Crow Wing County, a task force was formed in May to search for additional potential sites.
The task force's responsibility is to determine an appropriate location for the 299-foot NDGPS tower by Sept. 30. This does not preclude the Mission Township site.
Task force members include Jim Povich, Minnesota Department of Transportation District 3, and Ed Larsen, Crow Wing County commissioner, as co-chairs; Lt. John Hartline, U.S. Coast Guard; Dave Gorg, MnDOT Central Office; Dean Williams, Crow Wing County Planning and Zoning administrator; Darrell Swanson, mayor of Crosslake; Carol Cloud, Crow Wing County Planning and Zoning Board member; Rick Nolan, citizen representative; Jim Knudsen, an area Realtor; and Curt Eastlund, Mike Travis and Jim Kramer with MnDOT District 3.
The task force has been working on the site selection process, including exploration of public and private properties that may be available.
Basic guidelines for a potential site include: 18-20 acres proportional (square); level, dry ground; one-half mile or more from the nearest high water mark (lake or stream); next to or in close proximity to existing or planned three-phase electrical lines; and the property must be adjacent to a year-around maintained roadway.
The search area has been determined to be within 40 miles of Brainerd in either Crow Wing or Cass counties.
A thorough re-evaluation of publicly held properties has already taken place. In addition, classified ads have been run in area newspapers seeking private property owners willing to sell acreage for a possible tower site.
The goal of the task force is to compile a list of candidate sites in addition to the Mission Township location. These potential sites will then undergo a technical and environmental evaluation by the Coast Guard and MnDOT as to their suitability as an acceptable location for the NDGPS tower.
Once a selection of acceptable sites has been determined, public meetings will be held in the area for citizen input and discussion.
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