The Gering City Council Monday night approved a conditional use permit for Scotts Bluff County to install a 150 foot communications tower on the west side of the former jail.
Randy Meininger with the 911 Advisory Board told the council the location was key to ensuring current and future coverage of the area for public safety. “Coverage right now covers all the entities for public safety, and I know Scottsbluff and Gering have both put in public safety is one of their highest priorities in providing safety to our community,” said Meininger. “The only thing I would emphasize above that, is if they don’t have communication, their systems fail.”
Gering Attorney Jim Ellison was the only person to speak against the permit, saying aesthetics was his primary objection and the tower would not be the most attractive addition to the downtown area. Ellison also claimed there was evidence the county had alternative locations in mind early in the siting process, but had not fully vetted them with a cost-benefit analysis.
Following council approval on a 7-0 vote , construction of the new tower is expected to begin later this year. The project will include fencing similar to that being used for the downtown plaza, as well as landscaping to help soften the view from ground level.
The council also approved keno funding requests of $1500 for the city to purchase American flags for use at Carl Gray Park, and $10,000 for Gering Legion Baseball for expenses related to this weekend’s State Class B tournament.