Lee County Weighing All Tower Options

Fort Madison, IA – Lee County is exploring several options in case it loses access to a transmission tower used for E-911 service.

The Board of Supervisors used a special meeting to trade ideas. Chairman Gary Folluo says the number one approach for Lee County must be negotiations.

Lee County Attorney Mike Short says a short term lease between Iowa Public Television and an investment group from Missouri now appears to be off the table. He says the condemnation talk by the county, several days ago, seemed to impact the discussions.

Folluo says the county must explore other options while negotiations are underway. They include contacting the owners of surrounding cellular phone or water towers or even building a tower of its own.

A legal injunction, based on public safety usage, could also be a "last-resort" option.

Lee County Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Cirinna says the Highway 2 tower is crucial to E-911. He says if access is cut off, no service will be available throughout the county.

The supervisors want an update on all discussions at the July 14 meeting.