BLYN — Cellphone reception and information for first responders in the Blyn area just got an upgrade.
The finishing touches have been completed on the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s new telecommunications tower, which is not far from the tribe’s main campus in Blyn.
Now known as Jamestown Tower, the 150-foot structure “allows for more efficient, faster broadband speeds for tribal citizens, businesses, residents, travelers and visitors to the area,” tribal officials said last week.
Spearheaded by the tribe’s Economic Development Authority and Jamestown Network, the tower project is located on tribal property just off Chicken Coop Road. The structure was completed last October.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused some delays, but Verizon Wireless completed equipment installation onto the tower earlier this month.
There are plans to house additional cell phone carriers as well as local internet service providers on the tower in the future, tribal representatives said.
They added that the tower was key as the tribe recently opened the 7 Cedars Resort Hotel.
The Jamestown Tower will boost the safety of East Clallam County residents, tribe officials said, as both Clallam County Fire District 3 and the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office have placed communications equipment on the structure.
In early 2019, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe qualified for a Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) grant and a low interest loan to get partial funding for the tower.
The board provides loan/grant packages to help under-served broadband areas obtain the funding necessary to develop their communities.
“It was important to the tribe that the aesthetics of our beautiful Blyn landscape were not impeded by a large metal tower,” tribe representatives said last week. “Designed to blend with the surrounding trees, imitation fir branches were added to the top portion of the towering structure.”
Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected]