Proposed Communications Tower Sparks Controversy In Arnold Neighborhood

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ARNOLD, MO (KTVI)– Controversy in the city of Arnold as residents protest a proposed communications tower in their neighborhood.

The communications tower would be built on the property owned by Declue and Sons Tree Car. Residents don`t dispute the purpose of the tower just the location.

A public hearing sign stands on the corner of Wicks and Telegraph Road in Arnold for drivers. Jefferson County 911 wants to install a new 300 foot communications tower on a piece of land close to homes. The only problem is the people who live nearby say it`s a hazard.  Rebecca Thomas is worried about how the towers can affect her health, property values and more.

“They have the 1- inch gas line right up there where anything can happen with a 19-inch gas line,’ said Thomas.

We stopped by the Jefferson County 911 center to find out why the towers are needed.

Chief Travis Williams says the answer is simple. The towers are part of an FCC mandate to create a new state of the art radio communications system for emergency crews. It’s needed to link Jefferson County to, St. Louis County, St. Louis city, St. Charles and other counties in Illinois. Williams says there are 18 towers needed in Jefferson County so far 8 are approved. The total cost is $30 million.

“It’s for emergency responders, local Arnold police, law enforcement, sheriff`s department, EMS it’s for all of them,’ said Williams.

Arnold`s planning commission denied the first tower proposal, now city council members have to make a final decision at their next meeting set for October 18th.