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Residents give views on cellular antennas

April 14, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

SHARPSBURG - Several Sharpsburg-area residents said last week that they would prefer cellular antennas be placed atop the town's water tank instead of building a new tower.

Cellular One is negotiating with Washington County officials to place three 8-foot-high antennas on top of the 135-foot-high water tank off High Street near the Little League field. The company says the antennas will improve cellular telephone reception in southern Washington County.

John Shoemaker, 75, who lives one block from the pale green water tank, said last Wednesday that he doesn't oppose the antennas.

The negotiations include how much money the county's Water and Sewer Department would receive from Cellular One in exchange for the right to put the antennas on top of the water tank, Dean Lowry, the county's real property administrator, told town officials April 6.

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Whether that money would go toward the $53 million water and sewer debt has not been determined, Lowry said.

Peggy Goetz, of Church Street, said the money should go toward the debt. She said she'd rather see the antennas on top of the water tank than somewhere where they might obstruct the view of Antietam National Battlefield.

Battlefield Superintendent John Howard said earlier that the water tank is visible from about 40 percent of the battlefield. In half of those areas tourists would have to look for it, he said.

John Smith, who lives on Horseshoe Bend Road south of the battlefield, said he'd like the improved cellular service.

John Ray, 74, of 200 E. Main St., said he doesn't want the antennas on the tank or on a separate tower.

Ray said the county should leave Cellular One to fight for a separate tower against battlefield officials who might be concerned that the tower would obstruct views from the battlefield.

Sharpsburg's Town Council voted 4-0 Monday night to support the three antennas.

The Washington County Commissioners still must vote on the matter.

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