KRM Development’s gift this week of the Dixon Valve & Coupling facility at 800 High Street to Washington College clears the way for Verizon to complete upgrades on the cell tower, located next to Kent Athletic and Wellness Center.
The upgrades are to fix shoddy cell service downtown, a problem that has gone on for some time.
Shortly after the gift was made this week, the college gave Verizon an easement to bore fiberoptic cable underground from High Street to the north end of the facility, about two-tenths of a mile. Verizon must file the easement with Kent County before the fiberoptic cables can be buried.
The fiberoptic connection to the tower is supposed to be the last stage of the upgrade.
Work began on the tower in April and was delayed until September because of a nesting pair of Osprey. In September work resumed and Verizon said upgrades to the cell service would take about three weeks. But work was delayed again with a new estimate to have the upgrades deployed “by the end of this year,” said David Weissmann, a public relations manager for Verizon.
Weissmann yesterday gave a new completion date of “early next year.” He gave no indication in previous communications with the Spy that Verizon was waiting on an easement to finish the installations required to upgrade the service.