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Resident continues protest against cell tower

AT&T not completely done with project, spokesman says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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While an Auburn cell phone tower is nearing completion, one resident and former City Council member is showing his continuing dislike of the project. At the end of March the Auburn City Council approved a height variance for a 78-foot AT&T monopine cell phone tower to be constructed at 169 Borland Avenue. The tower has been constructed, but the process is not complete, said Lance Lowe, associate planner for the city of Auburn. “Not as of yet,” Lowe said. “They haven’t requested a final approval. They have obtained a building permit and they are working toward improving the property in accordance with that building permit.” Lowe said AT&T would have to get final approvals from the city’s Public Works, Building and Planning departments before the project could be considered completed. Borland Avenue resident O.C. Taylor, who lives on the property next to the tower, installed a sign that reads “Thanks for the cell tower Auburn City Council.” Taylor said he wasn’t happy with the council’s approval of the tower. “I think that was extremely unfair of the City Council and AT&T, the way they went about doing that,” Taylor said. “As far as I’m concerned it was corrupt from the very beginning.” When the council was considering the approval of the tower’s height variance, there were local residents who were in opposition to and support of the tower. Taylor said he is thinking about suing the city and AT&T. “It looks just about what I was told it would look like,” Taylor said of the tower. “I think they tried to make it look better, but I don’t think they needed to put it that close.” Lane Kasselman, spokesman for AT&T, said the project is not yet complete, although the tower went on-air as of Aug. 1 and is currently functioning. “We are not completely done stealthing the site,” Kasselman said. “We are adding a couple more branches and making it look a little more tree like.” Kasselman said in the next couple of weeks AT&T would apply for final approvals. The tower was completely funded by AT&T, and costs for these types of projects are usually within the six-figure range, according to Kasselman. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com