Janesville68.5°

Tower to go up on east side

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
March 3, 2009
— The Janesville Plan Commission on Monday approved a US Cellular communications tower at St. Mark Lutheran Church, with some residents speaking in favor of the tower as a way to improve cell phone reception on the east side.

Others, though, complained that the tower would be an unsightly addition to the residential area, with one man calling the tower "visual pollution."


Two council members on the plan commission, Tom McDonald and Kathy Voskuil, voted against approving the tower, saying the company should pursue other technical solutions.


The church is at 2921 Mount Zion Ave. The tower will look like a 120-foot flagpole.


The company has said it needs the tower because call volumes on the east side of town exceed the network's capacity. The problem will get worse with the introduction of services such as streaming video.


McDonald said this morning that it shouldn't be the city shouldn't allow a cell phone company to just keep "throwing up towers whenever a cell company decides they need more towers.


"I think that we have a real problem in this country with all these cell companies just putting more towers everywhere rather than working on their technology and improving their technology," McDonald said.


"We as a country are light years behind European technology. When we put up new towers like this, that just encourages these companies to keep doing what they're doing.


"I don't think too many of us would want these towers right in their backyard."


The vote was four to two, with Steve Werner, Meredith Helgerson, Anda O'Connell and Nancy Zolidis voting to approve the tower. Lori Hanewold was absent.



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