Internet tower denied because of effect on Dyess Air Force Base

ABILENE,Texas (KTAB) - A tower that would be beneficial to rural parts of the Big Country was denied because of an encroachment to Dyess Air force Base.  

The area from Abilene to Brownwood struggles to have the same access.

"We have some family property in Ovalo and it is near impossible to get internet there," supporter of the tower, Richard Kemp said.

Which is why WesTex connect proposed to raise one of their towers 241 feet and move it 60 feet back.

"Not only will the increase in height increase the footprint around the tower which will triple the amount of people that we serve currently at that location, it will also give us the ability to, the other 241 feet allows the antenna on top to look over the other mountains out to the west," WesTex Towers representative, Rodney Amonett said.

For those who live or travel in the area it could've been a rea game changer.

"And then also there is a cellphone site that is coming onto this tower also that will have better coverage out on the other side of the mountain," Amonett said.

The ridge is just east of Highway 83 where the proposed tower would have been but the Dyess runway is about 10 miles away.  While that may not seem very close it would have a major impact on Dyess' missions.

"It will make a change to our flight path yes.  So if you build an obstruction here and you were originally going to fly through that area you can no longer do that.  The approach will ask you to go here then down to avoid the obstacle," Airspace manager, Dwight Williams said.

Despite Aviation Administration approval for the tower, the Board of Adjustments unanimously sided with Dyess.

"Towers are an obstacle and a problem and looked at and scrutinized very heavily as well as for the B21 bomber coming here so new missions, towers on the approach to Dyess Air Force Base are a significant problem," Military Affairs Committee Chairman, Gray Bridwell said.

It's a problem the City of Abilene doesn't want to make for Dyess.  Representatives from WesTex Connect said they are still deciding on their next step.

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