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      Council members, residents say 'no' to new cell phone tower

      It was a standing-room-only crowd at Mondayâ??s Kirksville City Council meeting.

      The hot topic: a proposed "special use permit" for U.S. Cellular to put up a 195-foot cell phone tower on city property located just northeast of the Kellwood subdivision.The Kirksville Planning and Zoning Commission had already voted down the proposal at its April meeting.

      The final decision was up to the city council.About a dozen residents took the podium to speak against the tower.Their concerns included decreased property values, possible health risks from radiation emitted from the tower and just the fact that the tower would be an eyesore in their neighborhood.Kirksville Codes and Planning Director Brad Selby spoke first, and then residents took their turn to speak up.Currently, U.S. Cellular has a tower in the north part of Kirksville and a second tower in the south part of the city.

      "They (U.S. Cellular) need a third tower location somewhere in the center. When they do an analysis of where the signals are coming from and what they have to download, they came up with this location,â?? said Selby.

      Charles Graham, a resident who is opposed to the cell phone tower, asked, "Could everybody raise their hand who's here in opposition to this structure just so we can see that?"

      Nearly everyone in the crowd raised their hand.

      â??The city is not this building. It's not from one end of town to the other. It's these people like me who live here, own property here, support our town, and that's why I'm hoping you'll listen too," said Pat Shoush, resident opposed to cell phone tower. And the city council did listen to all sides Monday night.Members voted 3-to-2 against allowing a "special use permit" for the cell phone tower.Glen Moritz, Robert Russell and Jerry Mills voted "no." Mayor Richard Detweiler and Roger Edge voted "yes." That portion of the meeting lasted an hour.U.S. Cellular would have paid the city $1,700 a month to lease the piece of ground where the tower would have been built.