Source: Sherman Publications

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‘I would put a tower in my backyard’

July 27, 2011

Dear Editor,

(In response to: '9-1-1 tower location poor choice,' The Citizen, July 23, page 6):

The record needs to be set straight in regards to Gregory Hamilton's letter.

I will state upfront that I am married to one of the (Hadley) planning commission members. I attended the planning commission meeting (not the zoning board of appeals as noted by Hamilton). I also sat between two good friends who are NIMBY's (Not In My BackYard people), they did not want the tower built at that site either. I came to that meeting with no preconceived outcome and I can vouch that my husband did not, nor did the other members of the planning commission (why should they? Their responsibility is to all of Hadley).

Hamilton, you also forgot to note that the township official/church member on the commission abstained from voting, and the other is a trustee on the Hadley Board and did not have voting rights at that meeting.

The outcome was based on facts, not hysterics. The commission met to give approval for location of the 9-1-1 tower which provided the Lutheran Church with the authority to proceed with their negotiations with Lapeer County Central Dispatch – whether it met all the guidelines concerning setbacks, location, etc.

The overwhelming majority that Hamilton refers to is his neighbors and relatives that received an anonymous anti-tower letter in the mail. Vic Martin of central dispatch and a Motorola representative were present and answered all questions – no matter how ludicrous – such as "Can you 'guarantee' me that the tower will not fall on my house?" (Can Delta airlines guarantee me that a plane won't fall out of the sky on my house? – which is just as likely). Both men did a fine job of answering concerns, including the suggestion that those concerned go to Lapeer to check out the 9-1-1 tower that sits in a very urban area of town. As per the vote on approving the upgrade to 9-1-1 at the election last year, the residents of Hadley are for the 9-1-1 tower, and the location identified by Central Dispatch and Motorola was optimum as it is the highest site not only in Hadley, but in all of Lapeer County.

As far as the church turning down the placement of the tower, that is definitely their right – not Hamilton's, not his neighbors – it is the church's property to do as they wish. With the current 9-1-1 system on the verge of collapse due to lack of availability of replacement parts, this should only hold up the county 9-1-1 system by a year or so. I sincerely hope that no lives or property is lost due to this delay. And yes – with the benefits to both humans and nature (osprey like to build nests in the towers as per a recent Citizen article) – I would put a tower in my backyard.

Maureen Shoemaker

Hadley Twp.