Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00062 

Received: 12/1/2020 1:16:59 PM
Commenter: Bruce Todd
Organization: STRATA Networks
State: Utah

Agency: STB
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
UBR-DEIS-00062-53568.pdf Size = 1053 KB
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Submission Text
Joshua Wayland, PhD Surface Transportation Board c/o ICF 9300 Lee Highway Fairfax, VA 22031 Attention: Environmental filing, Docket No. FD 36284 Re: Public Comment on Draft Environmental Impact Statement – Uinta Basin Railway

Dear Dr. Wayland:

UBTA-UBET Communications, Inc. dba STRATA Networks (STRATA) was founded in 1948 with the mission of delivering telephone service to the residents of the Uintah Basin. Today we are much more than a telephone company; we are now the Uintah Basin’s telecommunications solution, offering nationwide wireless coverage, the fastest broadband internet in the Basin, advanced Cable TV, and home telephone service.

Helping people connect with each other has always been our major focus. We connect people through the Internet using a state-of-the-art fiber broadband network. We believe our efforts have helped many people connect personally and professionally on a virtual level. However, the ability to connect to people through the Internet can only go so far to benefit the residents of the Uintah Basin.

STRATA is in support of the Uinta Basin Railway and its efforts to provide new transportation infrastructure and cost-effectively transport goods to and from the Uintah Basin. It is STRATA’s belief that this infrastructure project will promote economic stability for the vast majority of the Uintah Basin’s citizens.

STRATA has reviewed the draft EIS and its recommended mitigation conditions. This railway project will require many permanent project features such as communication towers and signaling and safety equipment. These permanent features will visually impact sensitive areas. STRATA has the expertise to construct and install communication towers and fiber communication lines in a manner to reduce visual impacts and in compliance with environmental regulations. The railway coalition proposes construction of up to four new communication towers. STRATA is certified and capable of constructing these communication towers in a manner that complements the natural landscape, to the extent practicable. STRATA is willing to meet the OEA’s mitigation recommendations to use colors and surfacing that mimic natural features and blend into surrounding landscaping, to the extent practicable.

STRATA is also cognizant of the fact that this infrastructure project will not be viewed as a positive for some business owners, ranchers, farmers, and landowners. However, most Uintah Basin residents will experience increased road safety to and from Salt Lake City, boost in local jobs, increase in economic development, and help enable sustainable communities with a higher quality of life.

Bruce H. Todd
CEO/General Manager

[See original attachment for identical text.]