Radio station tower gets approval from planners | Local News

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An application by Menard Inc. for a Special Use Permit was unanimously approved by the Effingham Planning Commission and sent to the town council for a proposed relocation of the radio station tower on the property at south of Legacy Harley-Davidson.

This is Menard Inc.’s second attempt as a petitioner and Historic Hills, LLC, an Illinois limited liability company, to relocate a radio transmitter tower carrying WKJT-FM’s signal, according to a letter from Tyler Edwards, Menard’s real estate representative. Inc.

The transmitter is currently located south of the Effingham Menards Lumber Yard at the intersection of Avenue of Mid-America and North Raney Street.

Michael Tappendorf, civil engineer for Milano and Grunloh, represented his client Menard LLC at the hearing in support of the special use permit. He read the Menard Inc. letter written by Edwards in the file. The letter stated that the first property they presented to the commission for special permit approval had restrictions that did not allow the tower to be built.

Menard Inc.’s letter stated that their reason for wanting to move the radio station tower was because of a proposed addition to the Effingham Menards at 1100 Avenue of Mid-America. The letter states that by moving the broadcast tower, they could add space to their warehouse and lumber yard.

Paul Gutman, owner of Legacy Harley-Davidson, spoke out against the petition.

“It’s a tower that I believe, especially with the guide wires (of the tower), will be an unsightly eyesore to the area and especially to my place of business,” Gutman said. “The guide wires basically surround my property and almost encroach on it.”

He told commission members that there was another 5-acre parcel of land available which might be more suitable for the tower to the east of the property where the proposed tower is proposed to be built.

“I don’t think that’s the best use of space on the property,” Gutman said.

City Attorney Tracy Willenborg asked Gutman for clarification on how the tower’s guidewires would encroach on her property.

Gutman said by the drawing that he wasn’t sure how close the guidewires were to his property and would like some clarification. He also expressed concern about the distance between the tower setback and his property.

Greg Sapp, station manager for Premier Broadcasting, spoke as an independent witness to seek clarification on the details of the project. Premier Broadcasting is licensee of WKJT-FM which uses the radio tower for its broadcast signal.

“The site is being considered for the location of our radio broadcast tower and would be moved south of Menards to allow Menards to grow. Menards (Menard Inc.) and our owner Dave Ring have been working on this project for a long time. We are on our second site. We don’t have to move, but we want Menards to grow,” Sapp said. “This site has been proposed, so we have tried to make it work and negotiations are continuing.”

Paul Gutman asked Sapp why Menard Inc. did not move the tower to an existing vacant property located between the east end of Menards parking lot and Mid-America Avenue.

Sapp said he did not know if the property was being considered for tower placement.

“Cost is a consideration in any project like this. Menards is bearing the costs of finding new accommodation for the radio station (tower) since we are ready to move,” Sapp said.

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