A proposal to place a large communications tower atop South Mountain has put the forces of public safety and historic preservation into conflict. But a compromise might preserve the historic view from the Antietam Battlefield while ensuring that the needs of the agencies like the 911 communications systems are met.
The proposed 180-foot structure, which would have a 15-foot antenna on top of it, would be placed in an area of South Mountain known as Lamb's Knoll, between Crampton's Gap and Fox's Gap.
It would replace a 90-foot fire tower built 65 year ago, a structure which an official of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services said is not in good condition.
It would serve MIEMS, the 911 communications systems in Washington and Frederick counties and the National Park Service.
Opposing the idea are preservationists who say that the tower would adversely affect the view from the Antietam and South Mountain battlefields.