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Posted: 02/19/14

AT&T tower in Romeo put
on hold for more info

Observer Staff Writer
      Romeo officials require more details about a 150-foot tower before moving ahead with any approvals.
       The Village Planning Commission tabled discussions on plans for AT&T to install a tower on village property, saying more information is needed to make a decision on it.
       Commissioner Mike Cregar was not present for the Feb. 13 meeting.
       Commissioners reviewed a plan from AT&T that would lease land in order to install a tower on village property near the Community Center on Morton Street. The tower is 150 feet tall plus a 10-foot lightning rod.
       The Village Board of Trustees granted approval of an entry and testing agreement with AT&T on Feb. 10 so it could research the feasibility of installing the tower. However, a lease agreement has yet to be reviewed or approved by the board.
       Village President Mike Lee said he did see surveyors checking the area near the sledding hill by the Community Center, but was unsure of any time tables to have it installed.
       "Right now it's just the very beginning of them doing test runs," he said.
       Village Clerk Marian McLaughlin said the commission's approval of the plan wouldn't bind the board into a lease agreement, but wasn't required on Feb. 13. A vote on the plan, however, was far from materializing as commissioners brought up numerous items they wanted answered first.
       Chairman James Geister said he didn't oppose the idea, but there wasn't enough information available. Questions about the tower itself, such as whether the tower was collapsible or would be used for cell phones or Internet, were left unanswered.
       "Based on the way they've got this drawn it appears to be that it would be tall enough to fall on the carport out there," Geister said.
       Commissioner Dennis Jokinen said AT&T didn't submit any reports indicating they were unable to co-locate on other towers within a three-mile radius, an action required by village ordinance.
       He also wondered if the possibility exists to have the tower camouflaged or disguised to blend in with the area as well as landscaping around the tower.
       Commissioners wanted to know if the tower would be by residential sites. Commissioner Don Edwards said the site plan for the tower should be to scale and show all the adjoining properties.
       "As far as I'm concerned I want every one of these questions answered and evidence provided where required before I would agree to approve of the site plan," Edwards said.
       A public forum wouldn't be required for the tower, but McLaughlin said the village can inform all nearby properties when the commission discusses it.
       Lee said AT&T currently provides Internet service to the village, having signed a contract more than a year ago.

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