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New 300-foot radio tower going up in northwest Cairo

The Cairo City Council gave the green light Monday night for a new 300-foot communications tower to be erected at Grady Electric Membership Corporation headquarters on U.S. 84 West.
The new tower will replace an existing, 150-foot tall tower. Rex Robinson of Grady EMC briefed the city council on the tower project and said the taller tower was necessary because of Federal Communications Commission regulations coming into effect in 2011 regarding rebanding. Robinson said it would also improve communications for EMC personnel in the field.
Because of the height, special lighting is required, but EMC officials have selected a dual colored system.
According to Robinson, during the day the beacon will flash white, but at night it will be what he described as a less obtrusive red.
Although the city advertised for one week about the public hearing on the new communications tower, Mayor Richard VanLandingham asked if the EMC had notified neighboring residents about the project.
Robinson said they had not talked to their residential neighbors and he also acknowledged that in the event of a catastrophe and the tower fell it could damage nearby homes.
“Is there any danger to existing homes from the existing tower?” Councilman Bobby Gwaltney asked, and Robinson said, “no.”
Councilman Ernest Cloud agreed with Mayor VanLandingham and suggested the neighbors be notified that in the event the tower fell it could cause damage to neighboring structures.
Robinson said the EMC will notify the neighboring property owners and also told city officials that the tower was engineered to withstand winds of up to 105 miles per hour.
With an agreement that the neighboring property owners would be notified of the project by the EMC, the council voted unanimously to approve the erection of the new tower.

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