By Sandi Latimer
Pleasant Township officials heard about the possibility of erecting a cell phone tower on township land.
Dan Keidel, who was representing Telecom, told officials in a public hearing July 9, that the tower would be used by cell phone service providers to give customers better service.
Telecom approached the township wanting to lease land for the construction of a cell tower along Norton Road. They are looking to lease 10,000 square feet for an estimated period of 50 years.
The tower would be erected with the confines of a 100 feet by 100 feet fenced-in compound. The height, Keidel said, would be one of the items to be negotiated.
Pleasant Township Road Superintendent Jeff Karn expressed concern about right-of-way and easements when choosing the location.
Keidel’s response to that and many other questions was, “that would have to be negotiated.”
Trustee Ed Sheets wanted to know what would happen if technological advances made the tower obsolete.
“We’d have 180 days to remove the tower after it was declared not in use” Keidel said.
Karn wanted to know who was responsible if a strong wind blew over the tower. Keidel said in his experience, such an event had not happened.
The gathering was a public hearing to get community feedback about such a tower before any work is done. Only one resident showed up to get information.
With communications involved, and the township being four and one-half miles from Bolton Field, both the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration need to give approval.
Since this was a public hearing on the possibility of putting up such a tower, the trustees would have to start the procedure, which has not been done.
“A lot of negotiating will have to be done,” Keidel said.
Once all the paper work and preparation work are complete, construction would begin, and Keidel said that could take six to nine months.
At the trustees July 10 meeting, chairwoman Nancy Hunter noted that there was no opposition to the tower and led her two colleagues in voting to open negotiations with Keidel.
“Just because we’re opening negotiations, doesn’t mean it is a done deal,” Hunter said.