Foe: Tower sends the wrong signal.

AuthorMurray, Arthur O.
PositionTar Heel Tattler

Lenoir County Manager John Bauer says he's just trying to provide countywide radio coverage for law enforcement. But he admits the 480-foot radio tower the county is building near Kinston might attract interest from cellphone companies.

For Marion Harrington, that's the problem. The new tower could compete with one on his land in the northeastern corner of the county. He rents the land to Calif.-based U.S. Tower, which built the tower and leases antenna space to cellphone companies. Harrington fears the county tower could lure those customers away, leading U.S. Tower to abandon the site. The county, he adds, should lease space from U.S. Tower, too.

"I agree in principle that we should not be competing with private business," Bauer concedes. Many counties try to sell or lease space--the tops of water towers are favorite spots--for antennas. But Lenoir is one of only a handful in North Carolina to build a tower.

Bauer insists the project is about radio reception. The...

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