After reviewing the matter at its gathering two weeks ago, the Pontiac City Council approved an ordinance to implement regulation of “small wireless facilities” at its  meeting of less than 20 minutes Monday night. As previously reported, small wireless facilities are defined as small cells capable of better transmitting data and wireless information that can be attached on utility and street light poles.
    The ordinance language, drafted by the Illinois Municipal League for the use of towns and cities statewide, followed Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signing of the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act into law in April.
    According to the original language in the boilerplate draft provided by the municipal league,  wireless providers or other applicants are charged $650 for the collocation of a single small wireless facility, or $350 for each small wireless facility addressed in a consolidated application. If the installation of one of these devices were to require the erection of a new utility pole, the application fee was to be $1,000.
    After the council expressed a desire for an ordinance more tailored to its needs at the last meeting, City Attorney Alan Schrock reported Monday night that there were modifications he'd made to the existing draft language.
    “We made it clear that, in the downtown district, any new installation had to be of substantially the same character as what the city has installed in there for street lighting,” he said. “The other one was, was to say that when a permit's issued and was good for five years, but if they don't act on it in the first year, it will lapse.”
    In a separate matter that also pertained to its last meeting, the council approved a recommendation from the city’s planning and zoning board pertaining to the zoning classification for solar farms ahead of the planned solar array project near the Pontiac Municipal Airport. The city followed Livingston County’s solar farm ordinance, allowing for such projects to be built as special use on A-1 agriculturally zoned land.
    Modifications were made so that the Route 23 corridor and its interchange with I-55 be preserved via a 1,500-foot setback to allow for potential commercial development.
    In another matter on the meeting's action agenda, the city appropriated $150,000 for general street maintenance courtesy of the state's Motor Fuel Tax fund.
    Before the meeting ended, City Administrator Bob Karls gave an update on the Camp-Humiston Memorial Pool demolition, reporting that John Rupe of Rupe Excavation told the city that he was set to begin the process next week.