Editor's Note: This version corrects the size of the cell tower.
BOWLING GREEN -- City officials and other local leaders have blasted the decision to place a new cell tower site near the intersection of I-75 and East Wooster Street, a move they say detracts from the entrance to the city.
Verizon Wireless began work Monday on a 149-foot cell tower at the prominent site on property owned by the Ohio Department of Transportation. A Verizon spokesman said the site, which is on the east side of I-75, is the only viable location to address customer needs, but city officials said they offered numerous alternatives to the chosen location.
As a result, city officials said they will not supply power to the cell tower site.
“This is our primary location into the city and the entrance into the university. The juxtaposition of a [149-foot] tower and ‘Welcome to Bowling Green’ just doesn’t add up, and so we are concerned about the kind of statement it makes,” said Mayor Richard Edwards.
He said the site does not violate city rules, and that the plans were not required to be reviewed by the city because it is on state property.
Bowling Green State University also objected to the tower location. The university issued a statement expressing its disappointment with the company’s pursuit of the project.
Verizon spokesman Laura Merritt said people use wireless devices “more than ever,” and the company needs to keep up with customer demand.
“Ultimately this was the only site that would actually meet the needs and was viable,” she said.