Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

March 27, 2014

Cell towers raise aesthetic concerns

TAHLEQUAH — A prospect of more cell phone towers looming in the Tahlequah sky has some area residents worried about their appearance.

During its March 20 meeting, the Tahlequah Zoning and Planning Board voted to issue special use permits to Branch Communication LLC to construct a pair of new cell towers. A 165-foot tower would be placed near the Tahlequah Public Schools Bus Barn, and a 170-foot tower would be built on property owned by Green Country Funeral Home. The permits must be approved by the city council.

Tahlequah resident Donna Eastham has expressed concern about the aesthetic impact of cell towers near the Cornerstone and First Baptist churches.

“Were it something smaller, that would be one thing,” Eastham said. “When it stands 170 feet tall, then it becomes an issue for neighbors and the community.”

The proposed tower near FBC would be erected near the intersection of the Bertha Parker Bypass and East Boone Street. The church and funeral home are on adjacent properties.

“There is a gorgeous white steeple at the First Baptist Church that can be seen from many locations,” Eastham said. “You don’t need to drive to the church to see it. A cell tower would affect that view.”

Eastham and her sisters also own adjacent properties, and she worries about the towers’ affect on property values.

“It isn’t just a little change,” she said. “I know AT&T sent letters to a few people at the church, but a Baptist church is owned by all members of its congregation, and not everyone at the church is aware of the situation. They have a voice as well. I believe that if you are a Tahlequah resident and you drive by the church on that bypass, you have a right to know that it is going to change. They shouldn’t drive by and wonder, ‘When did that go in?’”

The purpose of the additional towers is to accommodate the cellular traffic around the hospitals, and at Tahlequah Public Schools and Northeastern State University.

Craig Cromley, area manager of external affairs for AT&T Oklahoma, said Tahlequah can use an enhancement of its cellular coverage.

“Data traffic with AT&T has grown 20,000 percent in the past five or six years,” Cromley said. “Wireless traffic is much higher in Tahlequah today than just a few years ago, and it has been some time since a cell tower has gone up in the community.”

Cromley said the greater capacity will be a boost to health care and public safety, and allow better network access.

“The permit requests passed the planning and zoning board and will go before the city council, and we have signed leases with the landowners,” he said.

“This is an investment in Tahlequah and part of our effort to build a better network for the future.”

Eastham said she is not opposed to service enhancement.

“I’m on AT&T service as we speak,” she said. “But they could put a tower east of town. I tell people that I like bacon, and I like cell phones and the Internet, but there are places for pig farms and cell towers, and this isn’t it.”

Eastham also said she has a personal reason for not wanting a cell tower to impact the view of the church.

“My parents bought that land and later gave it to the church,” she said. “So that is one reason I am passionate about this. I want to protect my parents’ legacy.”


Text Only
Local News
  • svw-orphan-train.jpg ‘Orphan Train’ authors visit Tahlequah

    Imagine, for a moment, being a child whose parents could not care for him, and the only alternative was to ride the rails across the country, hoping to find a new family and home.
    For local resident Peggy Kaney’s grandfather, this scenario was a reality.
    Alison Moore and Phil Lancaster shared the stories of over 200,000 children taken from New York City and then given away to families in western states from 1854 to 1929, at the Tahlequah Public Library on July 17.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • City council gives family deadline to rehab property

    Tahlequah’s city council is giving a family with local ties a little more than a month to develop and submit rehabilitation plans for two pieces of property containing six dilapidated structures in the 400 block of Lee Street.
    Members of the city’s abatement board recommended the homes be demolished, according to Tahlequah Building Inspector Mark Secratt. City officials then sent a certified notice as required by law, but the letter was returned.

    July 22, 2014

  • Man ‘howling like dog,’ arrested for APC

    When a Kentucky man pulled into an area convenience store over the weekend and began “barking and howling like a dog,” sheriff’s deputies checked on him and eventually hauled him to jail on alcohol-related charges, an arrest report shows.

    July 22, 2014

  • Man stable after crash

    A 57-year-old Tahlequah man was listed in stable condition Sunday evening after a crash on Old Toll Gate Road in northern Cherokee County.

    July 22, 2014

  • svw-Marijuana-guy.jpg Grassroots efforts

    Group seeks area support to put medical marijuana on November ballot

    Legalized medical marijuana will be on the ballots in November if Oklahomans for Health, the organization putting forward the proposed amendment, can get 155,216 signatures by Aug. 16.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • washington-marshal.jpg Man charged following June pursuit

    Prosecutors have filed formal charges against a Hulbert man accused of leading authorities on a pursuit and running a roadblock last month.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-3rd-Thurs-group.jpg Third Thursday downtown event gaining momentum

    Most new events take time to build a following and Third Thursday Art Walk is still gaining momentum.
    The cloudy weather may have kept some shoppers home, but those out were enjoying the evening and buying gifts.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Council to mull TMSA contract

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday are set to discuss and possibly act on a request to renew a contract with the local main street program worth $25,000 per year.
    If the contract is approved for the Tahlequah Main Street Association, it would automatically renew each year unless otherwise terminated or canceled.

    July 21, 2014

  • Motorcycle crash sends driver to Tulsa hospital

    A 55-year-old Welling man was in stable condition Friday after crashing a 2001 Kawasaki southeast of Tahlequah.

    July 21, 2014

  • sg-TKD-air-kick.jpg Little Dragons

    This Little Dragon program started at Ramos School of Taekwondo three years ago when the business opened. It is geared for 3-5 year olds. It teaches them motor skills, balance, left and right recognition, and to be aware of their surroundings.
    “It’s really basic and fun,” said Denisse Ramos, instructor. “They don’t even realize that they are learning.”

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts