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Oil derrick-style cell tower with flag on top gives Manteca something to howl about
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Get ready for ugliness to be taken to new heights in Manteca.

Metro PCS and the city want to erect a 140-foot tall oil derrick-style cell tower virtually in the heart of Manteca instead of a nicer looking monopole.

But wait, they promise to camouflage it by making it look like a flag pole. But when they finally unveiled, the cell tower design at the new vehicle maintenance facility looks worse than any existing cell tower in town. Sorry, sticking a 20-foot high flag pole on top of it doesn’t change the fact the tower is ugly.

As in real ugly.

What makes this all the more annoying is the fact that Manteca is the same city that had heart palpations when the Manteca Christian Worship Center first proposed a cell tower for their parking lot on Button Avenue. One city staffer at the time wondered out loud if it would create the wrong impression of Manteca to freeway travelers if an ugly cell tower was thrown up along Highway 99.

Lo and behold, the church came up with a proposal using a monopole disguised as a palm tree. Yes, the church is making money each year off of the lease. But if they had gone with a derrick style tower they would have pocketed even more money.

The bottom line is Manteca could put a monopole at the vehicle maintenance site too, but the end result would they would net less money over the next 25 years from Metro PCS. Instead of $775,000 maybe they’d pocket only $675,000.

I know, I know. It’s tough budget times. The city needs all the money they can get for the general fund. Bingo. That is exactly what is wrong with the city. The city has no problem heaping expensive requirements and higher standards on the private sector but when it comes to something the city has to pay for, and might cut into their ability to have extra money to spend, it is a different story.

In reality, this is money that the city would not have had. So why not do it right instead of doing it on the cheap? Put in a flag pole that’s part of a monopole cell tower.

Manteca is making a big deal out of the $7.1 million transit center breaking ground this month at Moffat and South Main Street. It is a classic, traditional building that looks as if it could become a downtown icon.

How nice the skyline over the transit center will appear when one looks south and sees the Wetmore Street oil field rig complete with a flag posted on top.

The flag will not be anything special. As proposed the flag pole reeks of afterthought.

You can put a dress on a skunk but at the end of the day it still looks and smells like a skunk.


This column is the opinion of managing editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at or 209-249-3519.