Special Notice Concerning the Communications Tower at 20th Street and the East Main Canal in the City of Yuma

The Yuma County Water Users’ Association has a contractual obligation with the United States of America, through the Bureau of Reclamation, to safely and efficiently deliver water to it’s users in a timely manner. Our users range from large farms to subdivision lots, all of which total more than 53,000 acres. The Association also delivers a large portion of the City of Yuma’s entitlement of Colorado River water. Be the customer a small hobby farmer, a large produce grower, the suburban irrigator, or the City of Yuma itself, all of our customers deserve the high level of customer service and reliability you have come to expect from the Association. Safe and efficient operation of the Association’s water and power delivery system must be held to the highest of standards.

The Association’s system operators and advanced control systems are constantly monitoring water elevations and flow in the entire canal system as well as critical data from many of the Association’s high voltage generation, transmission, and distribution facilities. All of this information is transmitted to and from the operators by means of an elaborate communications system. The Association has a duty to continue to upgrade and improve upon these systems as newer technologies replace those of the past.

The communications tower recently constructed at 20th Street and the East Main Canal in the city of Yuma is a necessary upgrade to our system. The Association is aware that the location of this tower has become a controversial topic within the community. We acknowledge that there are concerns by some residents that the communications facility has changed their scenic view from their homes. Association engineering staff performed extensive studies to address communication issues faced within the radio shadows presented by the Yuma mesa. Every path study to every remote location concluded in the current location and height being the most efficient and technically ideal. The current location and height of the tower allows us to reach over forty remote sites within our overall network. If the tower had been constructed in any other location, two towers would have been required to provide us the same coverage as this single tower.

In order to keep costs down and improve operational efficiency, it has been a long-standing practice by the Association to work with local government, public utilities, and private service providers in the sharing of rights-of-way and infrastructure. There are many examples throughout Yuma of this cooperative effort, including an extensive, multi-year joint transmission line project completed with Arizona Public Service. The consolidation and relocation of our electrical facilities within the City of Yuma and beyond, is a demonstration of the efforts of the Association, Arizona Public Service, and the City of Yuma coming together to complete a project in which all parties benefit. The construction of this tower is another example of that same cooperative effort. These partnerships have allowed the Association to save millions of dollars of construction and maintenance expenses in the past.

This is a common practice that has been understood by and participated in by other utilities, as well as the City of Yuma, and is encouraged by the Association’s membership. This tower, as with all other improvements we construct upon rights-of-way managed by the Association, does not require permitting by the City of Yuma or Yuma County. The Association regrets that the location of this tower has altered the view of some residents, but at the same time, we have a responsibility to provide safe, efficient, and timely service to our customers. This tower is a critical piece of infrastructure to fulfill that mission.

 

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