Ohio Town Can’t Stop Neighboring Cell Tower

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Local leaders in Johnstown, Ohio, are looking for ways to prevent a nearby cell tower from affecting their residents. The Village of Johnstown doesn’t have much say in the matter because the proposed tower is going to be built on property owned by the Johnstown Youth Athletic Association (JYAA), which lies just outside of village boundaries. Mayor Sean Staneart found out the JYAA board was considering a vote on leasing land for the tower as early as last week, and rushed to ask the board to postpone the decision. His efforts bought the village a couple of weeks to consider options, he explained. “We’ve consulted with the law director to see what options we do have,” Jim Lenner, Village Manager said. “It could be that if we have no recourse whatsoever, we could file an injunction. But first of all, we want to work with the JYAA to come to an agreement.” The fact that the property isn’t within the village limits Johnstown’s authority. “It cuts our legs out from underneath us because it is outside of the village,” Lenner stated. “That’s going to be the problem with the whole thing; it’s not in the village. But it sure does affect our residents.” JYAA President Chad Harrison said a decision has not been made on the part of the association, and although a vote of the association board could come soon, nothing is imminent; although, construction could start as early as this fall. “We’re not convinced it’s the only option; it’s just an option,” Harrison explained. “Even the board members are not 100 percent sold on the idea.” The JYAA would charge $600 to $800 a month to lease the 35 by 70 foot parcel of park land to house the tower. That revenue would be huge for the organization. “We get a lot of volunteer work, and that park certainly needs improvement,” he said. “From paved parking lots to a building that’s ready to fall, rather than pass those costs to participants, we would prefer to find another source of revenue.” He knows about opposition in Johnstown but hasn’t heard the same negativity that Lenner and council members have conveyed. “I haven’t heard anything negative from anyone other than the council,” he shared “The ones I’ve heard from have all been very positive. They agree it’s a great revenue stream, and they understand that we could use that.”

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