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Aldermen send tower plan back to committee for more discussion

June 2, 2010

An outcry from District 5 residents opposed to a 100-foot freestanding communications tower for the Water Utility caused their aldermen to ask for the issue to be sent to the budget and finance committee.

While the majority of aldermen were in favor of sending it back to the committee for further deliberation on an 11-3 vote, others Tuesday night said the city needs to consider the costs and improve security.

The city would place the tower in the 64th Street neighborhood behind a water pumping station. A communications tower is needed to provide a high-speed data link for security and surveillance among the water facilities, City Hall and the Police Department. Eventually the system would include the Fire Department and Hart Park.

It must be 100 feet tall to clear tree foliage.

The utility allocated $30,000 in its 2010 budget for the tower - $20,000 for the tower and $10,000 for ancillary equipment. The utility has received a bid for just less than $20,000 for the tower.

Aldermen Michael Walsh and Bobby Pantuso said they have been inundated with calls and e-mails from residents opposed to the tower, primarily because of aesthetics.

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