Cedar County prosecuting attorney Ty Gaither filed a petition Thursday, May 23, for a preliminary injunction against Windstream Corporation after construction of a pedestal for a new cellular tower at Mo. 39 and 950 Road was found in a ditch about four to five feet off the edge of the roadway, instead of further off the shoulder as originally intended.
Gaither also moved for a temporary restraining order against Windstream, which was granted the following day by Judge Tom Pyle.
The new pedestal was first discovered by a neighbor, Neil Johnson, who asked Cedar County presiding commissioner Marlon Collins if the tower was supposed to be in the ditch. If so, the tower would present an obvious hazard to motorists and prevent the county from mowing the right-of-way in that area.
Collins and fellow commissioners Don Boultinghouse and Robert Foster met Tuesday, May 28, with Windstream engineers Terry Lockhart and Steve Moore, who agreed the pedestal was probably in the wrong place and blamed their out-of-state subcontractor for the mix-up.
Collins said the subcontractor would have to dig 18 feet down to remove the first pedestal before proceeding on putting in the proper one.
During the meeting, Foster served the legal paperwork to the Windstream representatives.
At a show-cause hearing Friday, May 31, Gaither moved for and Pyle granted a 10-day extension of the temporary restraining order. The order calls for a stoppage of all current work in the area and guarantees the construction problems are addressed by Windstream.
“This hearing was to see if we would continue the temporary restraining order for 10 days or continue with the temporary injunction,” Gaither said. “One of the reasons you do a temporary restraining order, you want to mitigate damages actually for the respondent. It’s costing them money to have to move this eventually.
“They’ve agreed at this point that oops, it was probably located improperly,” Gaither added. “It’s my understanding they are going to move that, so this hearing gives them 10 days to give them a chance to respond with paperwork in terms of answering our petition for the restraining order and permanent injunction and to move the tower.”
Collins additionally confirmed all corrective work will be done expeditiously and at no cost to the county.