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Calistoga does not need cell towers

It is our understanding the Calistoga City Council will be reviewing a proposal put forth by Illumination Technologies to provide and install five Warning Sirens on 60-foot tall towers in and around the City of Calistoga. This would be at no cost to the city. However, Illumination Technologies would profit off of leasing space on the towers for cellular telephone services providers.

While this may appear attractive to the city financially there are so many things wrong with this approach, starting with the fact the Mayor of Calistoga is employed by Illumination Technologies, which we view as a clear conflict of interest.

While we agree warning sirens are a needed addition (we used to have a siren at the fire station), Calistoga does not need additional cell phone towers. Lack of cell phone service has never been the topic of discussion in our neighborhood. The Napa Valley Register published an article on April 13, 2018 regarding testing of Warning Sirens which recommended a total of two sirens be installed, so why do we now need five? According to the above referenced article, the Calistoga Fire Chief presented the results of the tests to the mayor and city manager and asked for direction regarding whether or not to purchase them. We would like to know why this proposal never went further. It is time to slow this process down to allow for discussion of alternatives and/or competitive bidding for the single proposal currently being presented. In our opinion there is a real need for transparency and a focus on critical emergency procedures, of which the warning sirens are just one piece. Cell towers, however, are not.

It is our understanding that this matter is on the agenda of the Aug. 6, city council meeting to be voted on. We encourage all concerned residents to attend.

Tom and Connie Johnson

Editor’s Note: The discussion of the cell towers has not yet been scheduled by the City Council.

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