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Springfield, MO

Springfield sued for denying T-Mobile tower

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A telecommunications infrastructure company filed suit this month against the city of Springfield.

BRT Group LLC, a company incorporated in Delaware, alleges the city violated state and federal laws by denying a conditional use permit for a telecommunications tower. BRT Group planned to build the tower for its client, T-Mobile, which intended to use the structure to extend its cellular network coverage in the Springfield area, according to court documents. The Springfield News-Leader first reported on the suit filed April 12.

BRT Group alleges the city of Springfield violated the Federal Telecommunications Act by not providing substantial evidence for the permit denial, as well as Missouri law by not acting on its application within the required 120 days.

The suit, according to court documents, specifically takes issue with Springfield City Council’s handling of the decision. Council in January tabled the bill until a June date, but the governing body held a March 12 vote because of the Missouri law on application deadlines. During the March meeting, council voted 5-4 against the bill, despite approval recommendations from city staff, according to court documents.

Councilman Craig Hosmer, according to the suit, voiced his opposition to the bill by saying companies should work to share cell towers to reduce the amount of infrastructure installed in Springfield.

“It doesn’t make sense to have these towers all over our community,” Hosmer said, according to the court documents.

City officials on March 13 issued a letter stating the permit had been denied. BRT Group officials claim no further explanation was provided.

In the suit, BRT Group seeks to reverse the city’s decision on the conditional use permit and obtain an undisclosed amount of damages. Court documents indicate the tower was planned at 1452 N. Lafontaine Ave., where BRT Group would lease land from Summit Roofing LLC to build a 180-foot tower. The site is located near Paul Mueller Co. at the intersection of Chestnut and Kansas expressways.

Citing a policy on ongoing litigation, Springfield spokeswoman Melissa Haase said the city is not issuing a statement on the BRT lawsuit.

BRT Group this morning made a court filing indicating the city had been served with a summons. The filing includes email correspondence with Springfield City Attorney Frank Romines, who said meetings may be scheduled next week to discuss the case.

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Randy Baker

Wow! Department stores and everyone else should use existing, let's say for example sake WalMart trucks since they are in town anyways, and "share to reduce the amount of truck traffic in Springfield." Good thinking? Let's hope the damages to be awarded will be enough to dissuade this type of future thinking. Just amazing!

Monday, April 23
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