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County puts plans for wireless tower on hold

 

 

SARAH LOWERY

Staff Writer

 

A request from American Tower Corporation to construct a wireless-telecommunications tower on Buffalo Shoals Road was put on hold by the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners Monday night.

During a public hearing on the conditional-use permit that would allow for the tower, commissioners decided they needed more information to be made available both to them and to the public. As such, the hearing will continue at their Nov. 4 meeting.

The proposed site for the tower, an 11-acre tract of land at 1875 Buffalo Shoals Road in Ironton Township, prompted concerns from nearby residents, who believed it would diminish their property values and cited their worries about potential traffic, radiation and copper theft.

They also suggested that there were other sites, including an existing tower not far away, that would be more suitable, rather than placing one in the middle of a residential community.

Despite American Tower officials insisting that the proposed location was determined through a selection process to be the only viable option to fill a coverage gap for AT&T, commissioners said they wanted to be sure that was the case.

“I didn’t hear enough evidence tonight,” Commissioner Carl Robinson said, before making the motion for a 30-day continuance on the request.

Local industries expand

Also during Monday’s meeting, public hearings were conducted regarding industrial-development incentive grants for two existing companies looking to expand.

Kara Brown of the Lincoln Economic Development Association presented the agreements, both of which were unanimously approved.

Packaging Unlimited, located on Riverview Road in Lincolnton, plans to invest $1.3 million in new equipment, creating at least three new jobs within two years. Meanwhile, Cataler North America, located in the Lincoln County Industrial Park, can now move forward with a $6.4 million investment to boost its production, bringing with it a minimum of four new jobs.

In other Board of Commission action at Monday’s meeting:

 

  • Commissioners failed to approve the purchase and installation of new software, costing more than $500,000, for various county departments. Finance Director Deanna Rios said the current software, roughly 30 years old, could go down at any time and was already incapable of certain tasks. She recommended splitting the price tag up over a five-year period. Nonetheless, Commissioners Carrol Mitchem and Jim Klein voted against moving forward with the purchase, with Klein requesting hard numbers on the savings. Mitchem, meanwhile, said the purchase process should have been started earlier and not rushed through.
  • Commissioners unanimously approved awarding a contract to Hickory-based CBSA Architects for architectural and design services for renovations to the historic Oaklawn building.
  • Commissioners unanimously approved a request to designate the county as a “Purple Heart County.”
  • Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution authorizing an installment refinancing.
  • Commissioners unanimously approved various equipment contracts and engineering services for the county’s Public Works Department.
  • Commissioners unanimously approved a revised ordinance relating to capital improvements for Denver Global Products.

 

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