The Board of Public Works held an open meeting Monday night to address questions and concerns around the installation of cell towers.
Prior to the meeting, Mobilitie LLC and WITN LLC pulled their request to install 13 cell towers in the City of La Crosse, but that doesn't mean the discussion is completely over just yet.
Representatives from Mobilitie LLC still presented their goals and sitings of the proposed cell towers in right of way locations in the city, leaving many audience members with looming questions and concerns.
"I've done work in zoning and planning for over twenty years now in the public service and I haven't seen this type of a request," expressed Jason Gilman, Director of Planning and Development for the City of La Crosse.
Sister Ladonna Kassmeyer lives in the Washburn Neighborhood and said the thought of these poles being installed throughout the city has her worried for the aesthetic efforts of community members.
"We have made a real effort to revitalize our neighborhood and I think seventy-five foot towers would not enhance the neighborhood," said Kassmeyer.
The proposed height of each tower is about 90 feet with 75 feet being above ground and 15 feet below ground. In turn, placing wooden poles with additional equipment attached such as antennas, GPS, and radio devices.
Dan Koonce, President of Ledegar Roofing said safety for his employees was a man reason he spoke at the meeting, but after listening to the speakers, pole clutter was a new concern.
"This is just representing Sprint's interest, so they're here for profit only and it's just one company. Can you imagine when their competitors start coming, are we going to start seeing poles all over the place?," said Koonce.
Doug Pearson, Executive Director of Facilities Planning and Management at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse also spoke, stating that," UW-La Crosse strongly opposes the installation of these towers." He added that there's not a need on campus.
"We do want to make sure that we do it right and take it somewhat slow to understand how we best respond to this kind of request," stressed Gilman.
And while the Board of Public Works did not vote on anything on Monday evening, the subject matter isn't going away. Mobilitie plans to regroup, learn more about La Crosse, and present to the city again, sooner rather than later.
MORE INFORMATION: City of La Crosse