Talk of Cell Phone Tower Leads to County Permit

By: Kari Huston
By: Kari Huston

So much talking was done about a proposed cell phone tower in Granger, that the St. Joseph County Common Council did not vote on the bill until past Midnight Wednesday.

In a vote of 7-2 the Common Council passed said Charles Hayes Inc. would be allowed to build the new tower at Adams and Hickory Roads in Granger.

A packed house of citizens spoke for and against the proposed tower. Both the Sheriff's Department and St. Joseph County Fire say the tower is needed. “We're finding a problem in that area with people calling in for help for 911 and their calls are dropping out,” said Nancy Lockhart, assistant director St. Joseph County Fire Department. “We're losing the cell phone calls. We're not getting location information before the call is dying out.”

The Common Council granted a special land use permit for the tower’s construction. That site is right next to Tim Janowiak’s property. “It's going to be a 120 foot tower which is two stories shorter than the County-City Building,” explained Janowiak. “They're going to disguise it as a tree, which is ridiculous. There's all kinds of health risks involved with this thing.”

And in other business, the College Football Hall of Fame, the Century Center and the Tourism Bureau will receive more than $3 Million collectively from the Hotel-Motel tax.

The Saint Joseph County Common Council approved that tonight as well. The statute does not allow the board to deny that tax money, still some people say it's county money ill spent.

“The Football Hall of Fame, another failed project from another community that is now come to our community and still has failed to produce anything,” said Steve Ross, District 2 County Commissioner. Common Council told the crowd the vote was a reflection of the responsibility our community has to cooperate with hotel-motel tax guidelines.

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