Glen grudgingly OKs cell tower

by Sabrina Nucciarone
Review Correspondent

GLENBEULAH - At the Village Board meeting July 11, the building permit for the PI Tower cell tower provoked the question of the evening, which contained one word: Why?

The discussion revealed a change of heart, perceived misperception, and disappointment.

Having a month from the June meeting to respond to a request for answers to confirm total indemnification should something occur on the site of the cell tower and additional arbor vitae to cut down on the noise from the generator, the board received an email notice moments before the July meeting began saying that they would receive a summons — functionally telling the board that a lawsuit will proceed if action to delay the building of the PI Tower continues.

During last month’s meeting, the board passed the building permit, conditional to wanting a response to the information requested. No response was ever received to the two issues raised.

Having taken a trip east between village meeting dates, thinking about the progression of the issue while on vacation, trustee Scott Starnicky said he just didn’t want to continue the fight. “I don’t want village money or my time wasted on this tower — lawyer fees, time, energy. I guess I’ve had a change of heart. It’s so miniscule in the grand scheme,” he said.

“I’d still like to know why we can’t have confirmation of the indemnification,” trustee Corynn Feldmann said, knowing that any response regarding the two items were seemingly ignored before the summons was received.

Trustee Dale Cary agreed with Starnicky. “We have spent far too much time on this issue,” Cary said.

“We didn’t deny the building permit. That’s how they are perceiving it,” Clerk/Treasurer Michelle Bertram said.

“I’d like to know why they can’t,” Trustee Dan Grunewald said, provide the information requested on the two items that the village wanted. “We are not trying to delay anything. The law went in their favor,” he said.

Sharing his disappointment in the whole process was Village President Douglas Daun. Daun recounted the first attorney who showed up once, promising he’d be back and never returned. Then another attorney came several meetings later, had no idea what had transpired and couldn’t answer any questions definitively.

Daun said that if there had been just one attorney representing the concern of the building of the cell tower and had they been present at each meeting early-on, there may have been faster response time in issuing the building permit. Without participation from the other legal concerns and all the communication being delayed by having to go through the lawyers outside the confines of the meeting, “the tower might be up already,” Daun said.

To avoid a lawsuit, the village issued the building permit.

Resident Joy Grunewald brought forth a request for the board to consider that when a business changes hands that privacy fencing be erected to preclude neighbors from having to view the activity of the business property. She had a certain business in mind, but named no names. “You can pick and choose the wording whereas the stock pile or equipment needs to be privacy fenced in,” Grunewald said.

Trustee Scott Starnicky recalled the same issue some years ago, without advancement. “I agree there are places and areas to be cleaned up in order to beautify the property. The hard part is putting it on a level playing field,” he said.

The issue of privacy fencing for a business reverts to state ordinances if there are no local ordinances. If a property is zoned industrial, the company can choose to put up fencing to contain their business activities or not.

“You can’t single out a business because of esthetics,” Starnicky said. “We are not trying to limit what a business does to make a living.”

Carol Horne, who has owned the CITGO gasoline station at 211 W. Main St. in Glenbeulah for many years, attended the meeting to formally announce that the station has been sold to an investment company.

The investment company owns several other stations in Wisconsin. “I shopped buyers and wanted to be selective, I wanted someone reputable,” Horne said.

Of the new ownership, “don’t expect to see much change,” Horne said. Horne knows the clientele has been loyal and though the new management may “take on new things, they are good buyers. I feel real good about them,” she said.

Horne thanked the board and the community for being good neighbors and they released her from any further obligation to provide them information.

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