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Tower draws bulk of attention at Antrim Township meeting

April 11, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - An AM radio tower facility proposed in Kauffman, Pa., is nearing final approval from the Antrim Township Supervisors and could be built with a series of conditions once details are hammered out next week.

Those conditions include erection of a chain link fence, pauses in broadcasting and money held by the township to address disturbances to neighbors' electronic devices. On Tuesday, the supervisors, on a 4-0 vote, asked their legal counsel to put their position in writing for a last review.

Deliberation consumed about two hours of the supervisors' meeting, with the primary focus being the effect on electronics in the area.

Emmanuel Baptist Temple of Hagerstown proposed transmitting Christian programming from towers along Clay Hill and Angle roads. An expert consulted by the township said the risk to public health is minimal.

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Residents at Tuesday's meeting were split regarding the proposal. Two spoke against the location in agricultural/residentially zoned land, two spoke in favor of the towers' ability to bring Christian messages to the area, and one expressed opposition due to what he perceived as the station's inability to fix problems with electronic devices.

By granting a conditional use, the supervisors are able to attach requirements at their discretion. Those conditions can be appealed at the county level.

"We are willing to accept any number of conditions," attorney Steve Patterson said on behalf of the developer.

One of the major conditions attached to approval would be the township's ability to hold $100,000 of the developer's money for the first year of operations. After that, the amount would be reduced to $25,000.

The supervisors viewed the money as a guarantee that electronics problems would be fixed.

Supervisor Robert Whitmore removed himself from the discussion and vote. Supervisors James Byers, Scott Diffenderfer, Curtis Myers and Samuel Miller voted in favor of accepting a conditional use after discarding previous motions.

Miller and Myers said they support Christian radio but wanted the tower in a different location.

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