Attorney Bebb Francis delivered a presentation to the council on behalf of Eco-Site II, suggesting the installation of a cellular telephone tower at 5364 Franz Road between Hutsell Elementary School and Katy Junior High School.
Council members expressed logistical concerns and voted to close the nearly hourlong public hearing, scheduling to reopen it at the Feb. 10 meeting.
“The reason we are here today is ... your city is growing,” Francis said. “With this growth, there is a significant demand for wireless. Right now, we are looking at about 275 million people who have smart phones. We are all very dependent upon smartphones and [Katy] residents are requiring seamless wireless connectivity.”
Studies show the average Katy household has a minimum of five to seven smartphones, and over 50% of the residences have disconnected landlines for telephone calls, Francis said.
Francis said the tower would be 180 feet tall, but Katy Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris requested looking into installing one at about 140 feet tall, which he said is roughly equal to the city’s water tower.
Although a lower tower would equal less covered area, Harris said he wants to make sure the tower would not be too invasive for residents.
Craig Donaldson, a radio frequency manager for T-Mobile, said the tower would be used by T-Mobile and could be used by three other telecommunications carries.
“The site picked is in an area that has issues with connectivity in KISD, and there are 11 other towers in KISD,” Donaldson said. “We look for sites that will help the community [and] not impact the school use of the property.”
Council Member Janet Corte said she wants to reconsider the location chosen for the installation of the tower because it would be near the schools.
“I’d like to know that you have looked at other locations because I am not comfortable that we have truly exhausted all possibilities as far as looking for another location,” she said.