By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer

The Morgan County Planning Commission held a work session last Friday, Sept. 20, during which they discussed a conditional use request for the erection of a cell tower on a property owned by John Marvin Ruark Jr. and Mark Ruark at the intersection of Highway 83 and Hardeman Mill Road, just north of Bostwick city limits.

The applicant, Providence Real Estate Consulting, LLC, proposes erecting a 195-foot monople communications tower on the property. A monopole tower is standalone and doesn’t require guide wires like other types of communication towers.

“It’s basically a giant telephone pole,” said Morgan County Planning Director Chuck Jarrell.

The footing for the tower will be six-foot square, and 10 to 12 feet deep, according to Jarrell.

The current use of the property is agricultural – chicken houses and crops – according to the staff report.

Planning Commission members discussed personal experiences relating to bad cell phone reception in the area, acknowledging the benefits that a cell tower near Bostwick would have.

The Planning Commission also considered a conditional use permit for the construction of a 40-foot by 60-foot pavilion at Union Spring Baptist Church, 1400 West Main Street, Rutledge.

The staff report stated that no drawings had been submitted for the pavilion, due to open considerations involving the inclusion of restrooms within the pavilion. The report notes that the intent to include restrooms or not as well as an indication of how much of the pavilion will be enclosed will need to be confirmed for the commission.

The applicant also indicated in the application that they intend to install a basketball court and playground at a later point, even though no conditional use permit is required for either of those installations.

Addressing a matter unrelated to Planning Commission business, Chair Brian Lehman praised the work that Kaleb Smith has done on the building located at 1091 Eatonton Road, Madison, which had fallen into disrepair before Smith began to restore it.

“He has done a marvelous job,” said Lehman.