Village Says New AT&T Tower Will Happen, But Location Still in Question

By Jeremy Coumbes on July 22, 2022 at 11:00am

Work continues between the Village of South Jacksonville and AT&T on efforts to find the best location for the placement of a new cellular service tower.

The Village Board of Trustees updated the progress of continued talks with the cellular service provider during the July Committee of the Whole meeting last night. Trustee Todd Warrick says that a new possible location for the tower has recently come into the discussion.

We’re making continued progress with AT&T so please be patient, it’s going to happen. There are some private land people that have caught wind of this and they have expressed that they are interested in having an AT&T tower on their property, and this is farm ground adjacent to it, but we’re going to go from there.”

In May the Board of Trustees unanimously voted down a proposal by AT&T to place a new tower at 1812 Sequoia Drive directly south of the village fire and police department complex due to its proximity to the complex and possible future development of the area.

Since then the Board has suggested placing the tower on village-owned land near the interstate, which was rejected by AT&T. Warrick says the tower needs to be placed as near to the dead zone of little to no cell coverage as possible in order to be effective.

The placement of this tower is coming from information from AT&T engineers. So it’s not like they are going to just poke it in somewhere. That’s why the forty acres that we have out behind Love’s is not feasible, it’s not the best place for it. It has to be as close to West Vandalia Street as possible.

The elevation between West Vandalia where the fire department is and Prairieland is the same elevation, so that’s almost perfect. It’s only two or three blocks away. So we’re hoping it’s going to be there.”

Village President Dick Samples said during the discussion that he thought the Prairieland board had expressed interest in the tower being located somewhere on the museum’s tillable acreage, but more discussion would need to be had to confirm it.

Warrick says both the Village and AT&T know lack of signal is a problem. He says AT&T engineers provided maps and documentation showing the dead zone of coverage and the police and fire complex is approximately in the center of the area.

He says both groups are continuing the discussion to work to find a solution that brings better signal to the area and is agreeable to all parties involved.