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Controversial cell tower in Animas Valley, CO now up

Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

After nearly eight years of protest from residents in the Animas Valley, a 104-foot cellphone tower to improve AT&T’s coverage in the area went up last week without much fanfare.

Dan Behuniak, CEO of Skyway Towers, the company in charge of building the cell tower, said construction was started in February and completed last week.

AT&T still has to install its equipment before the tower is fully functional. Behuniak was unsure of AT&T’s timeline and attempts to reach the company were unsuccessful.

The cell tower, disguised as a tree, is up at 619 Trimble Lane, within the existing Sandco gravel pit property, after seven years of the company’s efforts.

The tower faced opposition in early 2010 from nearby residents who said it would degrade the view and property values.

The county ultimately approved the cell tower last spring, after the company agreed to reduce its height by 20 feet and take certain measures to make sure the structure blended with the landscape.

Behuniak said once AT&T finishes work at the site, Skyway Towers crews will go back and make additional improvements and landscaping to further hide the tower from view.

Once the tower is fully operational, AT&T has said it will help expand and improve the company’s coverage area in the county. Currently, the coverage area has reception deficiencies.

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