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Disputed cell phone tower rises in La Crosse’s Riverside Park



If you were near Riverside Park in La Crosse on Monday, you may have noticed electrical trucks at the park’s entrance.

Those trucks were installing a cellphone tower that was argued about by city leaders last summer.

Verizon Communications decided that the State Street entrance to the park was the ideal place for a transmitter pole, because of the demand for phone service near the riverfront.

Critics tried to block the pole’s installation, fearing that it would distract from the beauty of the park.

After Verizon said it had the legal right to put the pole in that location — on a public street — the La Crosse Board of Public Works approved it in June.

Crews began installing the roughly 30-foot tower on Monday.

Verizon assured city leaders that the tower would be designed to fit in with street lights in the park.

The city planning office said preserving the beauty of the riverfront wasn’t a strong enough legal argument to keep the tower from going in.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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