Monday, January 12, 2009

Roosevelt Drive Tower Causing Controversy

by Nicole DeChant

Athens residents are having some serious concerns about a communication tower that is currently being constructed on Roosevelt Drive.

New Tower Taller
The current communications tower is 130 feet tall and 16-years-old, and Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl says it needs to be replaced with a newer and taller tower that will upgrade the city's communication system.

City council aprroved the contract in 2007 to build the new tower with the Newcome Electronic Systems Company.

Wiehl insists the location of the tower on Roosevelt Drive is pivotal because it is the highest point in the city.

Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl discusses the importance of the tower location.

Residents' Concerns
But residents are concerned about their safety because the new tower is approximately 20 feet taller than the existing one, creating a fall zone of 165 feet which includes residential homes, streets and a public park.
Residents are also concerned that the new tower does not comply with current engineering standards.

A Roosevelt Drive resident expresses her concerns about tower construction.

Residents sent a letter to Mayor Wiehl requesting a re-evaluation of the site from an independent party.

Public Discussion
The issue will be discussed at 7p.m. Monday at the Athens City Council meeting and a representative from the Newcome Electronic Systems Company will be available to answer questions.

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