Century Council Can’t Agree To Allow 300 Foot Cell Tower By Showalter Park Or The Library

January 20, 2021

The Century Town Council could not reach a consensus Tuesday night to allow a new 300-foot tall cell tower to be built next to the library or near Showalter Park.

Two parcels owned by the town were under consideration for the tower site:

  • A 0.698 acre lot directly south of the Century Branch Library. The tower would be located less than 50 feet from the library property, which is owned by Escambia County.
  • A 0.68 acre area located on the northeast corner of the town’s maintenance building property on Alger Road, just across the railroad tracks from the playground at Showalter Park.

“I would not want a tower in my neighborhood,” council member Sandra McMurray Jackson said. “They don’t want it on Alger Road … I’m going to respect those residents.” She said Alger Road residents were concerned about possible ill effects to their health, and she said there would be no changing their minds.

Council President Luis Gomez said he did not think the tower belonged along Highway 29, between the library and a commercial building he owns. He said that while he personally does not want it located on Highway 29, it is important to consider that someone might want to locate a business on the property in the future.

“We need cellphone service in Century,” Gomez said. “No one wants to put a business in Century with the stagnant service we have.”

A motion by council member James Smith to locate the tower at the town’s shop on Alger Road and a motion by Jackson to locate it on Highway 29 both failed to reach a vote due to a lack of seconds.

Diamond Towers had requested a variance to the required 200 foot setback requirement for the tower. At 300 feet, the tower would be about the equivalent of a 30 story building, according to interim City Manager Vernon Prather.

If the council had approved, Diamond Towers would have leased one of the two properties at $1,000 total for one year with an optional extension for one more year at $1,000. Once a tower was constructed, Diamond’s lease would have increased to $1,500 per month for at least five years, with another $500 per month due for additional cellular providers collocated on the tower.

Pictured: This lot next to the Century Branch Library was one of two locations under consideration for a 300-foot tall cell tower. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.


29 Responses to “Century Council Can’t Agree To Allow 300 Foot Cell Tower By Showalter Park Or The Library”

  1. Lakeysha Gregory on January 24th, 2021 10:46 am

    Just remember you all are the ones who voted for these people.
    I can point out 2 of the council members right now all talk and no action

  2. judy on January 22nd, 2021 9:45 am

    Hmmm on January 20th, 2021 11:29 am ” Let me get this straight. There are over 300,000 cell towers in this country. Some cities have hundreds of them in one city. Good cell service and data is vital to a decent quality of life and to support businesses. But Century is scared to have 1. Sounds bout right.”

    Well said! When we gave stupid excuses, my smart Daddy used to tell us, “Well a sorry excuse must be better than NO excuse, because that’s a pretty sorry excuse”!!!

  3. sam on January 22nd, 2021 9:32 am

    this town is soooo backwards. scared of a cell tower. are you also scared of your cell phone too? geeeez!

  4. Seth Fontan on January 21st, 2021 10:20 pm

    The people of the Town of Century need to form a PEACEFUL Protest outside of Town Hall DEMANDING that the Backwards Leaders step down and let younger Progressive Leaders take the reigns to lead Century into the future. Currently, Century is the “Laughing Stock” of Escambia County, keeping big business away while letting their people continue to go without everyday goods and services… Pitiful… Who is willing to stand up with me for this idea?

  5. Just saying on January 21st, 2021 9:19 am

    Why not add it to the water tower(pipe stand) off Hwy 29?

  6. Connie Brookhart on January 21st, 2021 8:27 am

    What is the dilemma in this scenario. I am new to Century, love the town but I really cannot understand the politics of the place. Cell Tower….better phone service, income for town. I sure hope that this does not fall through as other ventures have. The town of Century needs the revenue and we need to make decisions to improve the community.

  7. Connie Brookhart on January 21st, 2021 7:40 am

    Can the council of century make decisions? I am new to the area but seems to me that the decisions for the good of the town are slow to be made, if made at all. Come on people get Century on the map, lets work together to make it a better place. Cell tower, some income and convenience for residents, what’s the hesitation?

  8. Well on January 21st, 2021 6:01 am

    If you’re scared of the health effects of a tower then you shouldn’t own a phone, keeping it on you and up to your ear all the time.

  9. SW on January 21st, 2021 5:59 am


  10. Fred on January 21st, 2021 3:27 am

    My property probably has the worst wifi dead zone. It would be worth it to me, just to have access to streaming and decent phone service. A separate access road to the tower from the right of way can be part of the installation and the installer can have any and all timber to defray their expenses. I currently access wifi from the tower across the river, serving the hospital in Jay.

  11. Concern citizen on January 20th, 2021 10:09 pm

    Just my thought , everybody has there own personal opinion about the cell phone tower. But to John, who are you to throw down on councilwoman Jackson, because she is not the only one who said No about having the tower. If you read the article right then you would know that the citizens who live on Alger Road didn’t want it in their neighborhood and councilman Gomez didn’t want it near his business. So who are you to try and throw down on councilwoman Jackson for voicing her opinion.

  12. Taylon on January 20th, 2021 4:07 pm

    Geez. Well I’ve got 20 acres in Walnut Hill and would gladly lease part of it to put a cell tower in my front yard.

    Considering the drug problem in Century you’d think that a cell tower “health affects” would be the least of their concerns.

  13. DK on January 20th, 2021 1:29 pm

    Just like the last official’s anything that makes common sense gets the (NO) vote?

  14. chris on January 20th, 2021 1:18 pm

    The town is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, but turns down not just the helicopter building deal, but now this.
    Common sense, not so common in Century. What would Vernon Prather say?

  15. Kane on January 20th, 2021 1:05 pm

    @SW hey bud this is the wrong place to put that offer try emailing it to the cell tower people directly were they might actually read it.

    @TOC that is a tough and horrible choice to make a library or a park. Honestly not that hard though because you already have train tracks next to the park so not really much of a park maybe rezone it commercial let the cell tower be put up there and build a new park with some of the funds from the cell tower.

    @Everyone else hey if all you have is a “TOC dumb don wand moneh” comments and nothing helpful to add do what your mothers taught you and don’t say anything.

  16. Hmmm on January 20th, 2021 11:29 am

    Let me get this straight. There are over 300,000 cell towers in this country. Some cities have hundreds of them in one city. Good cell service and data is vital to a decent quality of life and to support businesses. But Century is scared to have 1.

    Sounds bout right.

  17. I actually agree with TOC for once. on January 20th, 2021 10:41 am

    This is the only time I will agree with TOC council. I can understand their concern because who would voluntarily put their forehead on the giant cell signal transmitter. And then at what distance from the high powered transmitter would you begin to feel comfortable? 10 feet, 200 feet, 400 feet? And before deciding, remember there will be people living there 24/7 within that range for years to come. There is very scant evidence that RF waves of those frequencies can cause health problems, but it’s still unnerving because science changes. For example, remember when science said don’t wear masks, then it changed. Cell towers are still relatively new, and the technology on top of that tower changes rapidly. What’s there today, may not be what’s there in 10 years. I also remember a tower collapsing during Hurricane Sally, and a worker falling from a tower in Loxley last year. Who wants that next door to residents?

  18. Bigblock345 on January 20th, 2021 10:40 am

    Diamond Towers, you can erect your tower in my field. $1500 a month? And these idiots are tripping over their own feet trying to catch stupid.

  19. judy on January 20th, 2021 10:25 am

    The TOC is soooo dilapidated and fallen down, and people worry about the cell tower being unsightly? Perhaps they are afraid that the cell phone signals will make the citizens smart and they will see how un-smart the leaders really are! This whole town could be a comedy series on TV!

  20. Your nose on January 20th, 2021 9:50 am

    The old saying “Cutting off the nose to spite the face” is very appropriate for this situation! TOC Council would get a monthly check and the community would get better cell service…it seems like a “win-win”. It’s called ADVANCEMENT!!!

  21. J-THE-G on January 20th, 2021 8:58 am

    JUST SAYING, I would want a cell tower in my neighborhood. Better signal is way more important to me than a pretty view or whatever other reason people wouldnt want one.

  22. SueB on January 20th, 2021 8:20 am

    Put the tower in!!!! Put the tower on Century property not Escambia County Property to received $1500 a month. Health problems is in the air we breath. Think about the water you drink if wells are not taking care of. COVID-19 spreading. The Tower is 300 ft in the air.

  23. SouthEndLurker on January 20th, 2021 8:17 am

    A potential revenue stream in a town that is constantly talking about financial shortcomings…..yeah, sounds like a terrible idea.

  24. John on January 20th, 2021 7:12 am

    Our phone service sucks we need it up here that’s what wrong with century y’all don’t want change half the people that don’t want it is old get over McMurray it’s not about what u want u need to be trying to do something for the town yes I live in century but James and the others are right we need it that’s money coming in to the town to help to help out oh wait that make to much sense y’all don’t want money just like the old building y’all didn’t rent out some of y’all are a joke

  25. Oversight on January 20th, 2021 6:59 am

    Put it in the industrial park. See how easy that was.

  26. SW on January 20th, 2021 6:56 am


    I’ll repeat my offer, Diamond. Great location, no politicians.

  27. M in Bratt on January 20th, 2021 6:15 am

    This is another TOC funny page special. The cell service in Century is so spotty that you may or may not be able to make a call. Sometimes it depends on where you stand,or which way you turn your head. The cell companies are offering a solution to that problem, and the TOC is worried that the tower would detract from the views of dilapidated and vacant buildings. And God forbid that the brains of this council be bombarded by cell signals from a nearby tower that could cloud their thoughts and cause them to make unwise financial decisions. But wait, they have been making such decisions for the last 20 years or so.

  28. Jerry on January 20th, 2021 4:17 am

    ” concerned about possible ill effects to their health” The cell company should file suit and make her prove that it has any “ill effects : You don’t get to make that claim without peer-reviewed evidence

  29. Just saying on January 20th, 2021 1:53 am

    No one wants a cell phone in their neighborhood. I get that but don’t complain when you don’t have good cell service. Besides why should the town profit.

    Just saying.

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