Mayor: Harrisville cell signal improvements ‘within weeks’

HARRISVILLE — Residents of Harrisville have been working with Verizon Wireless for more than three years to improve cell service in the area, and the work to boost cell reception will soon be completed.

Mayor John Dobis said he worked with the community more than three years ago to get 1,000 signatures on a petition that identified the city as an area in need of better cell reception. He said the poor cell service has put the area at an economic disadvantage, and it has been a problem for business owners as well as residents.

With much effort, a contract was created with Verizon Wireless, and it was finalized more than a year ago. Work to put up new antennae by the water tower and run underground conduit has taken considerable time, but there is now an end in sight.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, Dobis told council members they are on the brink of being done with the physical work that will hopefully improve cell reception in the city limits.

Antennae were put on top of the water tower and underground conduit was put in by Swamp Road and Walker Road. The conduit by Walker Road is currently being completed, and that is the final step before the towers are working.

“The very last step to connect to the antennas — that are ready to go — is to drop the conduit in there (at Walker Road) and flip the switch,” Dobis said. “We are within weeks of it.”

Dobis said he was hoping that it would be working before Labor Day, but setbacks extended the timeline.

“I will report back in October, and I hope that report is that everything is up and working,” Dobis told the council. “We will ask for some responses on how it is.”

Kaitlin Ryan can be reached at kryan@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 989-358-5693.