Cell towers, historic clock and bronze statue top Boyne City manager report

Highlights from Boyne City Manager Michael Cain's bimonthly report to the Boyne City Commission for Tuesday Feb. 9.

BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, NEWS EDITOR

An agreement to allow five new cell phone towers to be erected around Boyne City, a second opinion on the city’s historic clock and efforts to fund a $50,000 bronze statue topped Boyne City Manager Michael Cain’s report to the Boyne City Commission recently.

 

Cain gave his report, as he does twice each month, on Tuesday Feb. 9 to Boyne City Commissioners.

Following are the highlights of his report:

ACD cell towers
“It appears that our long-delayed agreement with ACD for five proposed micro cell towers, that were approved by the city commission in October, is alive again after dropping off the face of the Earth shortly thereafter,” Cain said. “Our attorney on the matter … contacted me late last week saying he’d finally heard back from ACD and it appeared that an agreement was close at hand.”

Following are highlights from the October 2015 Boyne City Gazette story on the matter.

Telecommunications company ACD plans to install five 35-to40-foot-tall cell towers around Boyne City.

ACD is willing to provide some decorative material to make the poles more aesthetically pleasing while remaining functional and providing adequate service to telecommunications consumers in the city.

The towers in question would allow ACD to provide gigabit fiber service to all of Boyne City.

According to ACD officials, the company has a backbone fiber line that goes through Boyne City which was built over the last few years with partial government funding to expand broadband service.

ACD owns a third of this line, the university system owns another third.

The route basically follows highways 66 to East Jordan and up to Pleasant Valley Ave.

ACD needs to outfit that transmission line with equipment to carry extremely high bandwidth connections.

The towers to be installed have a coverage radius of 1,500 to 2,000 feet from the towers, depending upon terrain, buildings, and trees.

The smaller Distributed Antenna Systems involved with the towers in question are intended to help offload traffic from the larger towers to help keep the system running efficiently.

ACD officials said most of the reason that these systems need to get put in is to make sure there are not issues during high volume events, and that the school is covered. Fundamentally, there is concern about safety and being able to call 9-1-1.

ACD will provide up to $30,000 to help pay for the new traffic light poles.

Honeywell lease
“After much back and forth, it appears that the lease for our temporary city hall facilities—that also include the MSU Extension—at the Honeywell facility across the street is ready for execution,” Cain said.

Officials planned to take possession of the space by Monday Feb. 15.

DPW online
Cain said the new Boyne City Department of Public Works is online and in working order. The city’s VOIP phone system has also been installed.

Bronze statue
The crowdfunding campaign for a life-sized bronze sculpture called “The Last River Draw,” which would portray a lumberjack pulling a log in from the Boyne River, on the river’s edge, has begun.

The city has a total of 60 days to raise $25,000 so that it may receive a grant of $25,000 to pay for the $50,000 statue, which will be created by a local artist and located in Old City Park right along the banks of the river.

“It’s an all or nothing proposition,” he said. “One that I think Boyne City is up to the job.”

Historic clock update
Cain said a second company is working up a bid for a proposal to fix the city’s historic tower clock, which has been in disrepair and storage for decades.

“He does have experience with two nearly exact twins of our clock: one that’s located in the Antrim County Courthouse in Bellaire and another one at my alma mater Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City,” said Cain. “We’ll see what he proposes and go from there.”

Back in mid-January, Cain said the city had received the report on its historical 1904 E. Howard & Co. tower clock from the first company to look at it, the Balzer Family Clock Works of Freeport, Maine.

They were contracted to give the estimate on what it might cost to repair the antique timepiece.

“Their cost to restore and transport the clock—including four new faces and sets of hands—is proposed to be $92,244,” Cain said. “Once we receive the bids for the new city facilities project in, we’ll have a better idea on how well this possible projects fits into our available funds.”