Princeton board approves tower
By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 2, 2004 1:58 PM
PRINCETON -- The Princeton town board has approved a permit for a 340-foot-tall commercial communications tower, over the objections of a neighboring landowner.
Jewel Chestnut asked the board for permission to construct the tower on his property in the 2400 block of Massey Holt Road, south of town. He said it would be an asset for Princeton.
But Velma Holt urged the board to block the tower, because it would decrease her property values and increase her insurance premiums.
"Mr. Chestnut, you would profit, but it would be a loss for me," she said Tuesday at the town board meeting. "You'll hear from me if the tower falls."
A tower engineer, Pete Jernigan, said the tower would be about 500 feet from Ms. Holt's property line. He also said the tower would resist hurricane-force winds and meet state building codes. He said other providers could use the tower.
The tower would be about half-way between Smithfield and Goldsboro and would enable Princeton residents to have Internet access in their homes. The board later unanimously approved a permit for the tower.
The deadline for business owners to install a backflow protection device was extended 60 days in a 3-1 vote, with Commissioner Larry Withrow dissenting.
The device is supposed to prevent contamination of the town's water lines. A state law requiring the device went into effect in July.
William Earl Ormond, the former mayor, said the device was illegal and uncalled-for and he did not want one. He said other towns require it only for new businesses or for those doing major repairs. Under the Princeton ordinance, those who do not comply could be fined $1,000 a day.
Smoking will continue to be permitted in town buildings. A motion by Commissioner Walter A. Martin Jr. to make the town-owned buildings smoke-free failed in a 3-2 vote. Mayor Don Rains, who does not smoke, cast the tie-breaking vote. Withrow voted with Martin, and Commissioners Eddie Haddock and David Starling opposed it.
Rains said the ordinance would be hard to enforce and might make it more stressful for the small number of town employees.
Police Chief Eddie Lewis said the town will be sprayed for mosquitoes on Tuesday and Thursday nights from May 4 to mid-October.
He also said he was investigating complaints about an overcrowded home at 106 Holt's Pond Road and the failure of the owners to repair the old school cafeteria on 601 W. Edwards St. Lewis announced that free gun locks are available for adults at the Police Department because of a federal grant; a new officer will be hired; several stop signs will be erected at new locations, and a block grant will be sought in July.
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