Barren County’s Joint City-County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Monday on a proposed AT&T cell tower to be built near Barren River Lake.
The tower is to be built in Finney, an unincorporated community in Barren County, about 300 meters from the lake.
The plan is not welcomed with open arms by some local residents.
Mike and Debra Kramer said they moved to the area five months ago to get away from cell phone towers. The couple said they were upset when they found out about the proposal.
“Our concerns are that they are building a 250-foot cell tower in an agricultural, rural area,” Mike Kramer told the Daily News. “There are lots of construction sites here and lots of weekend people who come out. This is an industrial building with a switchgear, and this is a residential area. “
“It was a haven for us,” says Debra Kramer. “This building will be about 250 yards from the original mansion here in Finney on Finney Road. We only had 15 days in advance about it. Everything was so secret. We fear that this will be the beginning of many changes. “
Kevin Myatt, the director of the joint city and district planning commission, said the applicant for the project is Tillman LLC, which represents AT&T Wireless.
According to state law, the commission is obliged to hold public hearings on planned cell towers.
Myatt said there are no land use restrictions in the county and there are no guidelines for building.
“In theory, a person can set up a shooting range or go-kart track on their county property and there is nothing the commission can do to stop it,” Myatt said. “There is very little that the planning commission can deny to a cell tower. One of the main points is the availability of co-location on a tower. The co-location (so that the tower can be used by more than one unit) is pretty much the only factor that you can take into account. “
The legal representative for the project is the Pike Legal Group from Shepherdsville. Myatt said it was their burden to prove why the cell tower was needed.
The Daily News asked Pike Legal Group for a comment, but it did not respond.
For the past two weeks, the Kramers have said they have started a petition against the cell tower. They said they had collected around a dozen signatures by Friday.
“We’re trying to get the word out about the meeting,” said Mike Kramer. “We are still in contact with our neighbors. Little of them know that this tower is being built only a quarter of a mile from their home. Hopefully enough outcry in the community would help someone rethink their decision. “
The Kramers said one possible solution would be to move the tower down the street to a more industrial area.
However, some local residents like Missy Towell, president of the nonprofit Friends of Barren River Lake & Park, see the tower as a beneficial project.
“I think it would have a positive impact as the tower gives boaters better cellular service on the lake,” said Towell. “I’m not really sure what the negatives would be.”
The public hearing on Monday will take place during the monthly meeting of the commission, which is due to start at 7pm at Glasgow City Hall.
– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.