Meridian, Miss., Council Outvotes Mayor on Cell Tower Installation

Mayor Percy Bland shared the objections of scores of residents, but the 250-foot cell tower was ultimately approved by the city council.

by Jim Brock, The Meridian Star / April 4, 2018
Shutterstock

(TNS) — The Meridian City Council on Tuesday voted to override the mayor’s veto of SouthernLinc's cell tower construction in North Hills.

Mayor Percy Bland last Thursday vetoed the City Council's March 6 approval of SouthernLinc's 250-foot cell tower, “after listening to the concerns of Meridian’s residents and small business owners.”

The council voted 3-1 to override the mayor’s veto, with Ward 3 Councilwoman Fannie Johnson abstaining.

Before the vote, the mayor said “there’s nothing illegal” if the city’s ordinance is modified.

“The bottom line is the bottom line,” the mayor said. “It’s an obstruction.”

Despite the mayor's objection to the tower, the council voted in SouthernLinc's favor.

Construction on the tower was approved March 6 despite staunch opposition from more than 30 people who spoke against it. A public hearing was held during the meeting, where a representative from SouthernLinc Wireless — a division of Southern Company — gave a presentation about the tower.

Immediately following his presentation, a crowd of tower opponents, including New’s Restaurant owner Chris Belvin and Peavey Electronics CEO Hartley Peavey, said they didn’t want another tower in North Hills.

While the SouthernLinc representative said towers do not affect the aesthetics of a business area, Peavey disagreed, saying there are already enough cell phone towers in the area.

©2018 The Meridian Star (Meridian, Miss.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.