Above / Local leaders gathered Mon., Nov. 6, 2017, at the Customer Service Call Center Fire Station 8 in Aurora, united in opposition to SB1451 Small Cell Wireless Bill, urging legislators to vote no.
UPDATE / House: Third Reading – Standard Debate – Passed 062-041-005
Simply put, consider white boxes the size of a 25 cubic ft. refrigerator attached to utility poles every few hundred feet along the parkways in every neighborhood. Consider the unsightly boxes competing with the trees and the landscape in order to have better service for smart phones. And if poles aren’t available, consider them at eye level along the city’s property.
Then consider why more than a dozen mayors, and municipal leaders gathered at the invitation of Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin and Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico with DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin, Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen and Kendall County Chairman Scott Gryder to strongly express concerns about state legislation aimed to control local municipalities for a vote in Springfield.
Behind the elected officials, a large slide picturing the historic Paramount promoted “NO! SB1451 Small Cell Wireless Bill.”
Local. Local. Local. Over and over, this publication promotes “local” even in the big wide world of connectivity.
Just as shopping locally is best for the city’s economy and voting locally makes the biggest difference for citizen representation, local governance is best for determining the use of city-owned public property.
Local residents are urged to pay attention.
Today, on Tues., Nov. 7, a hearing of the Illinois House of Representatives Public Utilities Committee in Springfield will consider SB1451, the Small Cell Wireless Bill. According the introductory remarks by Mayor Irwin, the bill will allow private companies to have a monopoly over public infrastructure, which is “unfair and unethical.”
“Granting private businesses carte blanche over municipalities’ rights-of-ways is not good government or good business,” noted Mayor Chirico. “We want all parties to come together to find a solution that benefits everyone—cities, counties and business. As the bill stands, it would devastate the landscape of Naperville and surrounding communities.”
What’s at issue is stripping local authority to fully regulate the location and deployment of small cell wireless antennas. The proposed new law will impose artificially low fees for both the review of permit applications and the use of municipal equipment.
DuPage County Chairman Cronin called it “overreach by the state” for the benefit of large telecommunications companies for commercial profit, noting already this past year state lawmakers “have siphoned more than $3.5 million of DuPage taxpayers’ money back to Springfield to balance their budget.”
Officials in other states including California, Ohio, Texas have had similar reactions, all aiming to prevent the influx of unsightly antennas.
All officials in attendance, representing millions of Illinois residents, were in agreement the bill to provide services must not be rushed during this Fall Veto Session. Negotiations must continue.
“It is clear this bill should not be rushed for the Fall Veto Session,” said Mayor Irvin. “It is imperative that our state legislators find a fair balance between wireless companies and local municipalities.”
Other solutions to bring better desired service during the evolution of wireless and internet service must be investigated such as “monopole antennas,” said Mayor Chirico, who is a proponent of better service. The mayor is headed to Springfield for legislative sessions on Tuesday.
City Council meets at 7PM Nov. 7
UPDATE / During the City Council meeting, the vote was 7-2 in favor to expand cellphone coverage for Verizon and T-Mobile. With Council’s approval, the Naperville Park District is expected to receive $1.5 million over the next 30 years from the 130-foot-tall tower leased for $36,000/year on the property of Springbrook Golf Course, backing up to Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve. The cell tower will be managed by Central States Tower III LLC.
Mayor Steve Chirico along with Councilmen John Krummen, Judy Brodhead Paul Hinterlong, Patty Gustin, Kevin Coyne, Benny White voted in support of the cell tower.
Note also that the Naperville City Council meets tonight at 7PM Tues., Nov. 7, in City Council Chambers, located in the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle Street.