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Commissioners approve cell tower, hear concerns

by Brian Orr
WJ  250x55WALSENBURG — The Huerfano County Commissioners listened Tuesday to Eugene Carroll, a project manager for Viaero Wireless. Viaero was re-applying for a Conditional Use Permit to build a 150-foot, lattice-style cell tower in Farisita.  Viaero had originally been given a CUP in 2012, but ran out of time to construct the tower.
Carroll said the cell tower would be built with expansion capabilities for other phone carriers, as well as broadband.  He also said Gardner was next on Viaero’s construction list, as they head towards Westcliffe.
The commissioners happily approved a 180 day construction permit, with groundbreaking expected to start next week.
Huerfano resident Richard Goodwin spoke with the commissioners about his concern over the accuracy of emergency crews responding to rural addresses. His concern was prompted by the recent death a of friend of his, where the ambulance missed the address, and had to be called back to the correct location.
County Administrator John Galusha spoke up, saying the county had spent over $100,000 over five years to create an E.R. Run Book. This address book is to be used by dispatch for fire, ambulance and sheriff crews, but there are still errors in some rural addresses, where two different directions might be given.
Commissioner Max Vezzani suggested the commissioners get together with the new head of emergency services, Don Mercier, to see what potentially can be done.  Vezzani also invited Goodwin to sit in on the meeting.
Finally, the commissioners noted the Civil Air Patrol had done a flyover of the landslide covering County Road 580, leading up to Mt. Blanca. Using the photos to accurately map the size of the slide, the commissioners hope to be able to come up with a plan to reopen the popular road. “There’s a slim chance to get a road up there if the landowner cooperates,” said Vezzani, “but if not, there won’t be a road for the forseeable future.”

Aerial view of the slide area that engulfed County Road 580 earlier this summer.  The road itself has been highlighted in white to show how directly and deeply the road was impacted.  Photo courtesy Huerfano County Commissioners.

Aerial view of the slide area that engulfed County Road 580 earlier this summer. The road itself has been highlighted in white to show how directly and deeply the road was impacted. Photo courtesy Huerfano County Commissioners.

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