Ron Strickland, city administrator, expressed concern this week to the Cherokee City Council that leasing out space on top of the north water tower poses a threat of contamination but council members still would like to know what CML Telephone is willing to pay for antennae space on the tower.
The city currently leases space on the Hill Street water tower but does not lease space on the north tower, the tallest in the city.
CML Telephone, based in Meriden, had previously made a request to lease water tower space to be used in its plan to develop high speed wireless Internet service. CML currently offers dial up Internet service.
At Tuesday's meeting, Strickland said that water is exposed to anyone on top of the north tower while the Hill Street tower is sealed. He said that contamination might not be discovered for some days after it occurs. In the event of contamination, the water would need to be dumped, the tank flushed out and water chemically treated and repeatedly tested, an expensive procedure.
Mark Napier, water department supervisor, said that such a procedure was required in another Iowa town when some people used bolt cutters to remove a padlock and go up onto the tower. It was not known whether the water had been contaminated but, as a precaution, the system was flushed out.
"We might want to consider not exposing ourselves to possible contamination any more than we already are," Strickland said.
Ron Johnson, council member, facetiously suggested that maybe we shouldn't allow people to use the streets because somebody might cross over the center line.
"We shouldn't allow people to drive away business because of some hypothetical situation," Johnson said, "This 9/11 stuff has gone too far."
Bill Troth, council member, said, "CML is a good company, it's a local company and we can use their services."
it was noted that the situation in the other Iowa town, an unauthorized access to a tower through breaking a lock, had nothing to do with allowing access to workers from another company.
Strickland was directed to get an offer from CML as to what would be paid for a lease agreement.