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Town Council Shows Little Interest in Telecommunications Site

The 14-foot tower was proposed for Olde Izaak Walton Park.

The Leesburg Town Council showed little to no interest Monday night regarding a proposed 14-foot telecommunications site within Olde Izaak Walton Park.

Director of Parks and Recreation Rich Williams said he was approached just a few months ago regarding the installation. It would consist of a 17 foot by 40 foot fenced cell site within an existing utility easement.

The proposed location would be on the western side of the park entrance. A 12-foot-wide gravel access road would come off an existing parking lot along side the top ridge. The site would barely be visible to park visitors, Williams said. 

Although the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission endorsed the concept of pursuing the telecommunications compound, many council members felt it might create future issues since the town only leases the property.

"I don’t have an interest in pursuing it at this location," said Vice Mayor Kevin Wright, questioning what might happen if the town decides to no longer lease the land. 

Councilwoman Katie Hammler said she would rather focus on economic development. Having such a large antenna wouldn't be very attractive, she said.

When asked, Williams said similar antennas have generated $2,500 - $6,000 per month for the town. Even though the revenue would not have to be shared with anyone, Councilman Dave Butler referred to it as "peanuts".

The council decided not to pursue the installation. 

CH October 25, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Interesting that absent from this discussion is any of the public benefits that could be derived from the placement of a tower in this location. Maybe I missed that point or is this tower for solely private transmissions?
Leah M. Kosin October 26, 2012 at 05:26 PM
CH: There was no discussion regarding the benefits to the local community. That being said, I'm pretty sure it would only benefit the the company placing it there. I'd be happy to forward your question to Town Council members.
Leah M. Kosin October 26, 2012 at 05:51 PM
CH: I just heard back from Mayor Kristen C. Umstattd: The communications company proposing the antenna in this location has not described to the council any potential public benefits, which is why the council couldn't discuss that aspect of the proposal. - Umstattd
CH October 31, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Thanks, I appreciate the follow up. So many complain of spotty cell service in the area, I would have thought this would be the FIRST question asked by a government body. :-D.

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