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It was over a year ago that I met with the Scotland County Commission. At that meeting, I brought up the topic of the 300 ft Cell tower that was proposed to be built on the west side of Memphis. I asked if they knew about this tower and was told that, yes, they knew that it was proposed to be built west of Memphis but didn’t know where. I informed them it was proposed just 800’ west of the city limits and 500’ from my house. I was astonished that they knew very little about an outside group coming into our county and throwing up a 300’ tall structure. I did find out later that they were approached by this outside group nearly a year before then and was asked if there were any regulations concerning erection of these types of structures in Scotland County. Their answer was “no regulations exist at this time”. It seems strange to me that they would not be interested to know more about this proposal and especially the planned location. I explained to them that I thought the tower was proposed too close to a residential area and especially too close to the city limits and the schools. After all there are many pastures and fields surrounding the city that could be utilized just as well. These cellular waves can travel up to 40 miles. Currently there is a cell tower just over 2 miles NE of the city that is providing good coverage.
I asked the commission if they felt they were elected to protect and serve the citizens of Scotland County including the residents of Memphis. Their answer was “absolutely”. I explained to them that I did not want the tower built that close to my house and that I thought it was wrong to place it this close to the residents of the city and our schools. I asked them if they would help us in our efforts to get the tower moved to a more appropriate location that wouldn’t endanger the residents of the city and those in near proximity. They said they would do what they could. I don’t believe they have done much of anything. I am listing below the activities or non-activities of the County Commission regarding this subject.
Commission was notified of tower request nearly a year before the mandatory newspaper ad and TOLD NO ONE.
1st town hall was held by the citizens group. Commissioner Ebling attended but did not speak to the concerns or indicate any help would come.
A petition drive was held and presented to the Commission with over 200 signatures and the commission ignored it.
The City of Memphis acted promptly to research their ordinances and informed the Commission of their plans against the proposed location and reached out to the Commission to work together for a better location for the tower and the Commission refused to participate.
KTVO reported on the concerns of the community and the Commission did nothing.
2nd town hall meeting was held by the citizens group to update the very interested public and again the Commission did nothing.
The Commission has never held a meeting on their own to hear from the public on this situation.
The Commission did not follow up with the Fire Dept. with their concerns.
The Commission did not contact or follow up with the Historical Society’s concerns.
The Commission made no contact with the Scotland County Hospital to check on the Evac Helicopter flight paths.
The Commission made no contact with the Scotland County Airport to check into FAA controlled airspace.
The Commission has not made any attempt to contact the FCC to express concerns.
The Commission has made no attempt to contact the State Historical Preservation Office to voice their citizens concerns.
The Commission has never told the Tower Company that their citizens want the tower to be placed in a better location.
Repeatedly when the Commission has been reminded that they are the voice of the community they have remained silent.
It is now over a year since the newspaper notice and still there are no new provisions or regulations in place to prevent this problem from happening in another location in this county.
The Commission cannot be denied consulting status and have a voice with the State and Federal government, yet they do nothing and say nothing.
The Commissioner’s positions are paid to listen and respect their citizens concerns. I believe a petition with over 200 names deserves support. We have had numerous meetings with them, but they do no more than just listen. The Commission has displayed no leadership in this matter. They are letting outsiders come in and dictate what happens in our county.
Everywhere the community group goes they are asked by residents how the problem is being dealt with and ask how they can help. Not once has the commission asked this question.
I am extremely disappointed with our County Commission. The Commission can still step up and support this cause, but they need to do so immediately. They have dilly-dallied around for two years and have accomplished nothing. These are paid positions so doing nothing is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Maybe we need some new members to protect and serve. Call the Commission today and demand that they get involved immediately. If the answer is no, we are not going to get involved then maybe a total change in scenery needs to come about in the next election. At a minimum they need to contact the Tower Company (Wireless Investment Partnership) indicating their constituents do not want the tower placed in that location. They also need to contact the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) with the same message. The old adage of “Step Up and Be Somebody” applies here. Call the Scotland County Commission today at 660-465-7027 and remind them that they are our only voice in this matter. We need their support now!