Cell tower site approved near Rainbow Springs

Macon County Commissioners unanimously approved the application to construct a 170-foot telecommunications tower in the Rainbow Springs area.

The monopole structure would be owned by Peagusus Tower, and according to their representatives, the tower could accommodate multiple carriers. The main tenant for the tower will be AT&T, but they expect Verizon to likely join as well.

The county held a public hearing Tuesday night on the application, and the only individual to speak was in favor of the tower.

Darrell Lee, President of the Nantahala River Association, told commissioners the area is in need of wireless coverage, “It would be big help to us. We do without telephone service a lot down there.”

County Planner Matt Mason said having a tower in that area could help emergency services better respond to issues in the western part of Macon County, “It could be potential way to address some safety issues at Standing Indian Campground.”

Commissioners passed the application on Tuesday with the stipulation the county would be able to use the tower without charge.

“We have a letter from David Key, Director of Emergency Services, and West Macon Fire Chief Josh Randall requesting that be addressed,” Mason said.

He also told commissioners the tower would not likely be visible from Franklin heading west, but would be seen coming from Hayesville toward Franklin.

Mason said the same site was permitted for a tower to carry AT&T in 2005, but was not constructed because of the economic downturn.