The Booneville City Council heard the first reading of an ordinance which would, if passed, impose regulations on the erection of cell phone towers within city limits.
The 11-page ordinance, proposed by city councilman Arron Brewer, was tabled after its first reading to give city residents a chance to provide input about the ordinance.
Alderman Robert Smith made the motion to table the ordinance and Eddie Gossett seconded move, which passed 5-1 with Brewer casting the only dissenting vote.
For an ordinance to be enacted, it must be read three times and subsequently approved by a majority of council members present for the vote.
Often with the Booneville council, three readings are accomplished in a single meeting through a suspension of rules.
Asked by councilman Mel Brewster if the ordinance idea is because a company plans to build such a tower, Brewer said yes.
Brewer said it is assumed a tower is being considered immediately east of the Logan County Health Department on First Street.
Brewer added while no company has made contact with the city about erecting a tower, one has began to research city ordinances records.
Brewer said he was not opposed to cell phone towers themselves but he felt the city should have some say in where and how the towers are constructed.
As presented the ordinance would allow for towers to stand a maximum of 250 feet and limit their placement to property zoned for industrial use.
Among its stated purpose, the ordinance’s purpose is to establish general guidelines for the siting of wireless communication facilities and granting of tower use permits; to minimize the number of new towers needed by encouraging use of existing structures; to preserve the stability of land values of properties near and adjacent to proposed commercial tower locations; and to protect residential ares from uncontrolled development of wireless communication facilities by requiring reasonable siting conditions.
Specifically addressed by the ordinance are landscaping and screening requirements, lighting and signage limitations, security fencing requirements, setback requirements for property bordering residential zoned areas or city streets, abandonment remediation and permitting procedures. The later includes a plan review fee of $5,000.
The next regular city council meeting is set for 5 p.m., Monday, Sept. 24, in the City Hall conference room.
In other matters the council approved a request from the Booneville Development Corporation/South Logan County Chamber of Commerce to cover $1,000 of the cost associated with BDC/Chamber Executive Director Susan Bulger’s trip to Belgium for a recruitment rip to sell the area to major industry.
The total of the trip is expected to be $3,800 Bulger told the council via letter. Mayor Jerry Wilkins said the Petit Jean Regional Foundation is contributing $1,000 as is the Chamber.
Wilkins also noted the BDC/Chamber is given 4 percent of city sales tax collections — about $18,200 so far in 2018 — but the $1,000 expenditure approved by the council was done so with the funds being derived from the city improvement account associated with the sales tax.
Audit regulations require the creation of a contract for services between the city and Chamber, which the council also approved.