06/19/05 — Council to review plans for 300-foot tower

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Council to review plans for 300-foot tower

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on June 19, 2005 2:01 AM

The Goldsboro City Council will review plans Monday night for a 300-foot-high communications tower that could soon loom over U.S. 70.

Wayne County has asked the city for a conditional-use permit that would allow the tower to be built at the corner of Humphrey and Eighth streets, near the old Wayne Community College campus.

As tall as a 30-story building, the tower will be self-supporting and need no guy wires. An engineer hired by the county says that it's designed so that if it falls, it would collapse within 150 feet of its base. County officials plan to fence off two acres that would include this area.

The public can comment at a hearing, one of three that will begin shortly after 7 p.m. Monday.

The tower is the first part of the county's new communications system. It will become the main transmitter for radio signals between the 911 telecommunications center and police, deputies, firefighters, EMS workers and other emergency responders.

The tower will replace a transmitter that is on top of the Waynesborough House in downtown Goldsboro.

The county's plans also call for relays to be located in Grantham, Mount Olive, Fremont and Indian Springs, but they will not require as high a tower. These transmitters could be located on existing cellular towers, water towers or other tall structures.

Currently, emergency responders are often unable to communicate with dispatchers or each other because the radio system is outdated and underpowered. The county hired a consultant last year who mapped several "dead" areas of the county where topography or other conditions make radio contact spotty.

The consultant is helping the county set a "95/95" standard. That would mean that radio contact could be achieved in 95 percent of the county, 95 percent of the time.

Other hearings

Also Monday, the council will hold a hearing on a request by CCP of Goldsboro, LLC, to rezone 18 acres between Wendell Street and Lockhaven Drive.

The property backs up businesses along Wayne Memorial Drive as well as homes on 12th Street and Lockhaven Drive. It is now zoned for residential uses, but the developer wants the option of multi-family homes or offices. No specific plans have been filed.

A third hearing concerns plans to use a house on the south side of Tommy's Road, between Hare Road and Green Circle, as the office for Pediatric Play Therapy. In March, the council rezoned the property for office uses. This hearing will concern the business' landscaping plan.

The City Council doesn't expect to act Monday night on the land-use requests. The Goldsboro Planning Commission will review them at its June 27 meeting and make a recommendation back to the council's July 5 meeting.

Also, the council will review bids for construction of an addition to the city's John Street parking lot. The expansion would add 42 spaces.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Monday in the council's chambers, Goldsboro City Hall, 214 N. Center St. It will be televised live on PACC-10 (Channel 10 on Time-Warner Cable).