Riverside trying to ‘stay ahead’ of small cell phone towers

If there are going to be more cell towers popping up in the future, the City of Riverside wants to have a say in the matter.

During the board of aldermen meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 6, a public hearing was held to amend city codes in reference to communication antennas and support structures and later passed with a 6-0 vote.

Some cell phone carriers are trying to add ‘small cell’ deployment towers on public right-of-ways where service can have a range of 750 to 1,250 feet. The ‘small’ portion is to help fill in a dead spot or lack of service in congested urban areas where more bandwidth is needed.

“It is not that we don’t want their services, that is not it at all,” Riverside mayor Kathy Rose said. “We want to be able to discuss where they go.”

These small antennas can be located on street lights in some cases, but those are leased by the city from KCP&L

Essentially, the city is trying to get out in front of it as many carriers are trying to supersede local governments.

The board also approved a road relinquishment agreement with the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department.

Community Development Director Mike Duffy talked about a MoDOT project at Highway 9 and N. Mattox Road that will add a signal at that intersection thanks to the city receiving funding of $150,000. MoDOT will be making improvements to the outer road of NW Platte Road, including two culvert crossings.

When construction is finished, MoDOT will relinquish the right-of-way to the city.

Design work is underway and Duffy expects construction to start in the fall. MoDOT will handle all of the work and manage it and the city will receive a bill for their portion of $150,000 to pay for it in fiscal year 2019.

In another road construction project, the board awarded a street maintenance project for deep patching, milling and overlaying of asphalt to Phillips Paving Co., Inc., in the amount of $285,640.

The city received four other bids on the project: Little Joe’s Asphalt ($327,560); Seal-O-Matic Paving Co. ($340,250); O’Donnell Way Construction Co. Inc. ($357,900) and Metro Asphalt, Inc. ($365,870).

The board of aldermen extended two contracts in the meeting as well. The first was for landscaping with Embassy Landscape Group of Riverside, Mo., to not exceed $48,405 and another for janitorial services to Town & Country Building Services of North Kansas City to not exceed $24,360.

Also approved was an agreement with ETC Institute to design and administer citizen and business surveys for the city for a total cost of $12,687. The resident survey is between six to seven pages, while a business survey is up to three pages.

The Olathe, Kan., company will complete 300 random surveys by a combination of mail, online and phone.

In other news:

Police Chief Chris Skinrood mentioned that sales of an old Dodge Charger vehicle was going well and the price on an online auction had already exceeded expectations.

The board approved a resolution supporting a project to construct a Regional Law Enforcement Memorial wall in Kansas City, Mo., near the Regional Police Academy, to honor the 147 metro officers that died in the line of duty since 1866.

Authorized a $75,000 reimbursed received from the Land Water and Conservation Fund to Platte County for construction of Phase I of the Missouri Riverfront Trail.