AT&T Relocates Tower Location to Protect Veterans Cemetery

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On Tuesday, AT&T and Noblesville Schools withdrew an ordinance to place a 5G monopole near the veterans’ section of a local cemetery. Hamilton County, IN veterans are pleased with the decision after previously meeting with AT&T, reported The Times.

The proposed tower site was on a school-owned parcel that’s currently being used as a softball field. However, the land is designated as the site for expansion of a military veterans’ section of the cemetery, and will replace the softball field within a few years, reported The Times.

The location met opposition from Hamilton County veterans, the cemetery association, and community members due to the intended proximity of graves to the tower. In April, veteran Izzy Menchaca called attention to Indiana Code 14-21-1-26.5, stating, “A person may not disturb the ground within 100 feet of a burial ground for the purpose of erecting, altering or repairing any structure or for excavating or covering over the ground without having a development plan approved by the Department of Natural Resources – Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. While the word cemetery has been taken out of this law (and only uses burial ground), this law still impacts all cemeteries.”

According to Steve Rogers, AT&T’s director of state government relations for AT&T, he met with veterans and proposed an alternate location on Noblesville School property but farther away from the cemetery area (about 600 yards). “I had our people go back to the drawing board and get with the schools and look at what other locations on the property might work. And we did come up with one,” Rogers said. “I don’t think it’s a perfect site, but I think, based on what I was hearing from guys, it’s better for your needs. And we’d be willing to move it if we can get you all to agree that this is better.”

VFW commander Rob Loy, who met with Rogers, said he was pleased with the alternative location since he was worried about the disruption of funerals due to noise from the tower based on the original site. He said to Rogers, “I appreciate you working with us.”

The tower is intended to improve service in downtown Noblesville. According to The Times, AT&T is expected to submit a revised proposal for the tower in about six months. In the meantime, Rogers said AT&T would install a temporary, portable tower, at the alternate location so service won’t be interrupted since an existing tower near the Hamilton County Sheriff’s property will be dismantled in the fall.

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