Cellular telephone tower near city airport rejected

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2005

Brookhaven aldermen soundly rejected Tuesday a proposed cellulartelephone tower near the airport, but left open the possibility ofthe structure being located elsewhere in the city.

Johnny Self, working on behalf of Cingular, appeared before theboard last night with documentation of Federal AviationAdministration approval of the tower at a maximum height of 224feet. He had originally discussed the proposal with the board inJuly.

Ward Five Alderman D.W. Maxwell and others, however, said theyhad heard “quite a bit” of objections to the tower’s proposedlocation. The tower would be located in the airport’s flight path.Ward Four Alderwoman Shirley Estes said the risks would outweighthe benefits.

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“It’s just a lot of objection to this tower, its height andwhere it’s located,” Maxwell said. “It would be a danger.”

City officials said they would be willing to talk with Selfregarding other possible tower locations. Maxwell said the locationnear the airport was “completely out,” and he did not want to seeany more than one or two cell towers in the city.

“We don’t want the city of Brookhaven cluttered with towerseverywhere,” Maxwell said.

Following a motion from Estes, the board voted 6-0 to reject thetower near the airport. Ward Six Alderman Buddy Allen was notpresent after having surgery last month.

Self was noncommittal about other locations. He alluded to howmuch study had gone into finding the one near the airport.

“It’s based on existing customers and a drop of coverage in thatarea,” Self said.

Self said he would be talking with his client about how thecompany wants to proceed.

In other airport activity, aldermen discussed the process forchoosing new members of an airport advisory board. Aldermenrecently voted to revive the board after members were notreappointed.

The board agreed on a panel of seven members, who will servetwo-year terms after an initial phase-in period. Aldermen discusseda slate of nominees, including pilots and businessmen, and areexpected to vote on board membership at the next meeting.