Cell towers in Geauga County parks had a short stay.
A month after being asked to consider three requests for placing cell towers on three county properties, Geauga Park District Board of Commissioners announced Tuesday they have decided against allowing the towers after consulting with park staff.
Many attendees at the board meeting thanked park officials for turning down the requests.
Kristen Sammut of Munson Township said she does not get a chance to regularly attend the meetings, but had come to express her displeasure at the proposal of cell towers in the parks. She said she was “less than happy” about other changes being made to the parks, such as allowing snowmobiles and turkey hunting.
She suggested that park officials conduct a countywide survey to gauge how residents feel about these types of proposals.
The park district did conduct a survey in the spring of 2015, but the board has yet to discuss the results. The survey indicated that the vast majority of residents favored preservation of the land and wildlife over more development there.
Strategis, a Cleveland company, wrote to park officials in March, stating that the letter is a follow-up to phone conversations about a 50-acre site in Claridon Township at the southwest corner of Chardon-Windsor and Old State Road (Route 608).
The company was interested in conducting initial field work if park officials would consider the request. He offered a 10-year lease with five-year renewals and payments in the range of $1,000 a month. The company also expressed interested in Becvar Preserve in Russell Township.
Digligent Site Development, a Hilliard, Ohio company, wrote to park officials in April that Beartown Lakes Reservation in Bainbridge Township was an ideal site for a tower that is needed to meet the increased use of cell phones. The company stated that it was becoming increasingly difficult to locate the towers in residential areas and that providers were turning to parks, schools and churches because of the large acreage they can provide.
Besides new revenue, the company stated that the towers provided added safety for park visitors who may experience an emergency.