|By Larry Stanford, The Thomaston Times, Ga.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"Over the last year or so I've been experiencing a lot of signal loss," Piper told the council. "I'm down probably to about 30 percent signal. We've got it amplified, but we don't know how long it is going to last. I've had some total washouts for the past couple of months. That's why I want to get this new tower operational, with new cable, and a new satellite dish. I think the old tower probably has some slick cable on it. It has taken a series of lightning hits over the years. That's why I want this new tower to be approved."
"The reason it is before mayor and council is you can't have a general building permit to erect a tower of this type," Bentley said. "The reason is pollution or concerns of interference of towers with others.
"This tower is within 1,000 feet of another tower, which is not allowed in the ordinance," Bentley added. "However, you have to consider the exceptions, which are, is the tower
The owner of the current tower,
Bentley said Lane had valid concerns, but that the ordinance has exceptions to the 1,000-foot limit which include is the current tower sufficient for what he needs. Bentley asked if the tower was sufficient and Piper said it wasn't.
"I'm losing signal. That's the bottom line," Piper said. "We've got the line amplified. I've had signal washout over the past year, and a couple of Saturdays ago, I had a total washout for about three or four minutes.
"I don't agree with the stipulation in the ordinance that you can't have two towers that close to each other," Piper added. "They are not going to interfere with each other. If Charles wanted to lease it to someone else, that's fine. I don't think I'll interfere with his tower or he'll interfere with me."
After further discussion, the issue was put to the council. Mayor Pro Tem
"I think the most compelling argument he makes is that it does not sufficiently address the needs of the radio station regarding a washout or loss of signal. I think that is a very compelling argument," Head said. "The business depends on delivering a signal of sufficient power, and that is not happened. I'll make the motion to approve the special permit with the addition of building a fence around the tower."
Council member J. D. Stallings seconded the motion and it was approved with a 5-0 vote.
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