A possible Verizon tower on Muntz Street was a topic of discussion among commissioners and a member of Hillsboro City Council on Wednesday at the regular meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.
Commissioner Tom Horst said after the meeting that the board had been approached by a Verizon representative around a month ago about a piece of property owned by the county behind the senior center, but Horst said when he and commissioner Shane Wilkin visited the site, any possible consideration on the placement of a tower was deemed not possible because there wouldn’t be enough space without having to give up a good portion of the center’s parking lot.
A lot owned by the center that lies across the street is a spot for possible consideration, Horst said.
He said the communications company has plans for two other towers in other parts of the county and is looking for placement of another in the Hillsboro area. “And our lot,” Horst said, “just happened to be in the center of what they wanted to cover.”
Tracy Aranyos, the city council member whose ward includes the senior center parking lot, attended Wednesday’s commissioners meeting, and said later she wants to learn more about the proposed tower.
Aranyos, referring to the modular home that once housed Hillsboro firefighters in the center of town, said, “We just got rid of one eyesore in town, and I want to make sure this is not another one. I just want to know more about it.”
Gary Abernathy, president of the senior citizen center board of directors, said Wednesday, “The senior center board has had very little discussion about this subject. We will definitely communicate with both city and county officials before taking any action, as well as get input from residents in the area. My own feeling is that this is not something we want to do, but it will be up to the board as a whole.”
In other business, Highland County Sheriff Richard Warner provided updates to commissioners which included a year-end report for the sheriff’s office for 2013.
Warner said the sheriff’s office has been awarded a criminal justice grant with 10 percent matching grant from the office. He said the grant monies, which were “just shy” of $8,000, will be used for overtime.
The sheriff’s office was also authorized to purchase two new dispatch consoles, one for EMS and fire, and the other for law enforcement, Warner said.
The sheriff said that the office has also applied for an approximately $17,000 grant through the Bluegrass Pipeline that would enable the purchase of repeaters which would “boost radio power.”
On another matter, Bob Lambert attended the meeting to informally introduce the East End Community Group and to inform the commissioners of the group’s first project, which members plan to present to Hillsboro City Council on Monday, Lambert said.
He said the purpose of the group is to keep city council aware of what is going on in the neighborhood, and to improve the neighborhood and make sure interests are looked after.
The group’s first project, Lambert said, is to clear a small area at the site of a home where children were taught during the desegregation efforts of 1955. In that area, the group plans to erect a bench and place a small plaque that tells about what happened there. The renaming of an alley to honor that teacher has also been discussed, Lambert said.
He added that the first test of the landmark 1954 case Brown vs. Board of Education, which declared separate schools for blacks and whites was unconstitutional, occurred in Hillsboro.
According to Lambert the group, which is on Facebook, wants to preserve the history of the east end of Hillsboro, honor that history, and enhance the neighborhood. He said the area is residential and comprises an area east of East Street between Main and South streets and from Muntz Street north to the city limits.