Talks Stall On South Jacksonville AT&T Tower

By Benjamin Cox on September 6, 2022 at 7:52am

Talks have stalled for the placement of an AT&T Tower in South Jacksonville.

Village President Dick Samples told the South Jacksonville Board of Trustees last Thursday that AT&T has not been in contact with him in several weeks to discuss options on the placement of a cell phone tower in the village to help with better reception and service.

The village has been plagued for years with poor service, dropped calls, and even having 9-1-1 calls either re-routed out of the county or not being able to be dialed at all. Despite AT&T saying they have coverage in the area on their nationwide maps, residents still have minimal, if any service within the village. 

Samples wants village residents to know that the village government is doing all it can to get the tower in place that will work for everyone: “We have nothing to do about the placement of the tower. It is not up to us. It is up to AT&T. Our job is to find a place that is legally able to use to put the tower there, and we need some legislation on our end to find that. It is not up to us on where this tower goes because they are going to dictate to us they want to put it here or there. They want us to own the tower, or have some ownership of the tower. We don’t really care to own the tower in that sense. We need a tower in South Jacksonville, yes, because we have the poorest reception there is in this area. They have provided us with the information on where there are hot spots and low spots as to the availability, and we’re absolutely terrible.”

Samples says that the village is reaching out to State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer to ask about placing the cell phone tower on the grounds of the Prairieland Heritage Museum, since Prairieland leases the majority of their grounds from the State of Illinois; as well as possibly looking at placing the tower on the Jacksonville Developmental Center grounds to keep the tower away from neighborhoods. Samples says he believes both could be viable options.

A person involved with Prairieland Heritage Museum told the trustees on Thursday that the board of the museum has not been contacted by AT&T either. Samples says that Trustee Todd Warrick has been in contact with a representative of the company. He was absent Thursday night. Samples said more discussion would come at the scheduled Committee of the Whole session on September 8th.