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Heritage Commission unhappy with cellphone pole plans for Riverside Park



Plans to install a cellphone transmission pole near the La Crosse riverfront may be a done deal, but one city committee still would like the project halted. 

The Heritage Preservation Commission is speaking out, a week after the board of public works okayed the 30-foot Verizon tower that would be placed on State Street inside Riverside Park. 

At a Thursday meeting, commission member John Satory called the legal process which led to approval of the tower “blackmail.”    

“We don’t need more stuff in the park like that,” said Satory. “We need land, beautiful trees, and grass, and we don’t need sheds…to be hassling our humans with deadly zaps from microwaves.”

Satory mainly objects to the equipment shed, or cabinet, which would be located near the phone pole, to be built to resemble a street light.

City officials have said they don’t have legal grounds to stop the pole from going on a right-of-way. 

However, Satory hinted that one council member may try to have the west end of State Street transferred to the control of the park department.            

The heritage group hopes to find ways to keep other poles from going into parks, if the Verizon pole cannot be stopped.

The commission voted on Thursday to nominate a garage near the former fish lab in Riverside Park as a local historic landmark, to go along with the designation that the lab building already has.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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