Analyses must be conducted on towers

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette The free-standing tower at the former Calumet radar station in Houghton Township must have a structural analysis conducted every five years, according the Michigan state law.

EAGLE RIVER — Keweenaw County must have structural analyses conducted on each of the towers it owns, according to state law. Two companies are waiting to place new equipment on one of them until after the analyses are completed.

“We have been approached by MasTec, as well as Black & Veatch to provide upgrades to the AT&T communications devices on the Mount Horace Greeley tower,” said Ann Gasperich, zoning administrator. “They understand that we need to have a (conditional) analysis conducted on the tower.”

Gasperich said that while structural analyses have already been conducted on the towers, the analysis of each tower was based on assumption of what the tower at Mt. Horace Greeley is.

The towers had come up in discussion earlier in the regular monthly meeting, when Pasty.Net president Charlie Hopper was questioned as to the integrity of the tower. Hopper stated that it is not a guide tower, but free-standing tower.

“As a self-standing tower, we have recently been informed that it needs to be inspected every five years,” Gasperich told the board. “A guide tower needs to be inspected every three years.”

Gasperich repeated that assumptions have been made in regards to the analyses conducted on each of the towers, but she did not elaborate on what the assumptions are.

“We need to have someone to go up on the tower to verify what the assumptions are,” Gasperich said, adding that it is not known when the last structural analyses were conducted.

“What’s going on with MasTech and Black & Veatch is they have sent their proposals in, and we have started to tell them that we have a condition analysis scheduled for the tower if it is approved by the Board of Commissioners,” Gasperich informed the board. “If they would choose to put their equipment on prior to the conditional analysis being performed, they will take liability if there is an issue.”

Gasperich said that right now, they are saying it is the county’s liability, and an analysis of each tower will bring a combined price tag of $10,000.

“So, to bring you up to speed,” said Gasperich, “MasTech and Black & Veatch understand what our status is, and they’re patiently waiting.”