A Knox business has hit a bit of a setback in the wake of the July 24 storms. NITLine CEO Jerry Shepherd approached the city council this week seeking “immediate approval” to establish a wireless internet tower on the city’s water tower. He said this is an emergency case because his tower near the NITLine building on Main Street had been critically damaged in the storms, and he needs to get his internet service up and running as soon as possible for his customers.
Shepherd requested approval to mount an antenna on the East Street water tower because of its central location. Several antennas have already been mounted on the water tower, including the Knox Community Schools communication equipment and a number of antennas for DC Technologies. Shepherd said his antenna would have no conflicts with the current equipment, and he says the liability would be covered.
Shepherd emphasized the fact that he has such a setup in North Judson and Hamlet, and he says he has had no complaints about the equipment.
Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston said his concern is the possibility of lightning striking the equipment, but Shepherd assured him that no cables would go through any buildings, cutting down on the risk of a fire starting from storms.
However, Knox Mayor Rick Chambers said the council would have to hold off on giving him any kind of decisive answer, because the water superintendent was not present at the meeting. Chambers says the water superintendent does not like the idea of having equipment on the tower, because the water tower was build roughly fifty years ago and was not designed to hold equipment.
The matter was tabled until the next meeting on Aug. 14, but Shepherd said its very likely that he will have his old tower back up before then.