Install a Mobile Tower in Northeast Marion County, Oregon (Little North Fork Drainage)

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I am writing on behalf of nearly 300 supporters (and growing) a petition to install a wireless, mobile phone tower, in northeast Marion County, Oregon – near the township of Elkhorn, Oregon.

The residents and visitors are looking to improve communications and safety in a forested, rural zone located along the Little North Fork of the Santiam River.

The Little North Fork and the Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Areas, is home to nearly 10 thousand visitors annually and is a popular summer destination for many individuals and families. Although we are a rural area with a small year round population, we feel it’s imperative to build our infrastructure in the coming years for the safety of our summer guests. A critical element in this future infrastructure is the need of a wireless, mobile phone tower.

For over 20 years, this small area of Oregon gets an extremely high number of visitors, and from listening to the year-round residents, they know that during the summer months, there are calls for emergency services nearly every weekend. There have also been multiple deaths from car accidents and drownings – many of which may have been averted due to responders getting medical attention to the scene sooner.

For the year-round residents, the landline service in the area is very dependent on the changing weather conditions. Many times, especially during the winter months, power will go out due to storms and these residents are stuck in the area until power is restored. If the outages are of a long duration, the generators that power the landline system can also go out, leaving them without power or communications in the event of an emergency.

The lack of broadband service, landline, and mobile coverage creates a situation that is not ideal for keeping our community safe. In the event of a serious incident that requires emergency medical services, such as paramedics, fire department, local and state police officers, the majority of visitors cannot use their mobile phones to call for help.

Looking at wireless coverage maps on the websites of the major carriers in our area, AT&T has one of the broader reaches in our area, but the maps also erroneously show coverage far beyond where a person might get signal. I have attached a map detailing where we need coverage the most.

The health, welfare, social activities, and more importantly - public SAFETY will all be enhanced by building a new mobile phone tower in the area. Increased mobile phone coverage will enable successful growth and the ability to employ better emergency tactics in the future. 

Please help us in our quest to have a new mobile phone tower built and begin to move the Little North Fork Watershed to a strong and healthy infrastructure for both year-round residents as well as our many guests that support our area.



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