Public safety building tower removal to begin, disrupt traffic

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Franklin Street downtown is closed today from Water Avenue to Alabama Avenue to allow workers to remove the old radio tower from the top of the Cecil Jackson Public Safety Building.

The Selma Police Department is using the tower behind the Dallas County Courthouse, according to Mayor James Perkins Jr. The city had planned to remove the existing tower on the public safety building after the police department communications tower at the courthouse became operational.

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Work to remove the old tower was scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. today. Traffic on Franklin Street will detour to either Washington or Green streets, according to Lt. David Evans.

Pedestrian traffic also will be re-routed around the building.

The move sees realization of an agreement signed between the county and city last July that allows the city to locate its antenna on the 120-foot E-911 tower behind the courthouse. The work will bring the city and the county under the same frequency.

At the time of the signing, Probate Judge Kim Ballard said “Our original intent with that tower was to provide all citizens of Dallas County with more effective emergency communications.”

The city filed a lawsuit against Dallas County about the tower in May 2006, citing construction was a violation of city ordinances. City officials claimed the county did not apply for a Certificate of Appropraiteness with the Selma Historic District commission or for a special use permit under the wireless telecommunications ordinance of the city.

The county won in circuit court. The city appealed the decision, but the appellate court also found in favor of the county.