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BOC approves new cell towers and development off Hog Mountain

The Oconee Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved two ground lease agreements with Alpharetta-based Prime Tower Development in order to construct 199-foot-tall cell towers at the county waste/recycling sites at 1030 Rankin Road and at Oconee Veterans Park.

County Administrator Justin Kirouac said the towers will work in concert with each other and improve service in the busy commercial corridor along Hog Mountain Road now that the cell tower in Butler’s Crossing is no longer functioning.

“These would provide a significant amount of additional coverage over what we currently have,” Kirouac said. The towers would carry T-Mobile and three additional carriers, Kirouac said, as well as public safety radio. Prime Tower would be responsible for the permitting process with the Federal Communication Commission and for constructing the towers

The towers would carry T-Mobile and three additional carriers, Kirouac said, as well as public safety radio. Prime Tower would be responsible for the permitting process with the Federal Communication Commission and for constructing the towers.

Prime Tower will pay the county $17,400 a year for each of the sites for five years. The lease can be extended for 10 additional five-year terms, with rent increasing in each subsequent term by 10 percent over the previous term.

The BOC on Tuesday approved a rezone of 25 acres off Hog Mountain Road and adjacent to Oconee Veterans Park for the development of a self-storage facility and commercial buildings. The storage facility will consist of 12 one- and two-story buildings.

The development, Parkside Promenade, will include retail shops, a pharmacy, convenience store, offices, restaurants and service centers. As part of the project, a second entrance to OVP will run through Parkside Promenade.

Oconee County Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Davol told the board this month that Wayne and Susan Norris want to make a donation of $100,000 over four years for improvements at Heritage Park. A plaque in their honor will be placed at the park.

The BOC accepted the recommendation of County Attorney Daniel Haygood that the county join a lawsuit over what’s termed “forever chemicals” in its capacity as a partner of the Upper Oconee Basin Water Authority.

Also on Haygood’s advice, the board tentatively agreed to declare the North High Shoals part of Hillsboro Road abandoned so that the town can take control of the roadway.

Haygood also told the BOC that the city of Watkinsville has taken action to annex about 20 acres of the Thomas farm on Simonton Bridge Road that lies outside the current city limits. The BOC consented to the city’s annexation.

Lee Becker is a retired journalism professor and resident of Oconee County. A longer version of this story originally appeared on his blog, oconeecountyobservations.org.

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