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One of two lawsuits over Creston tower dropped

October 5, 2018

The saga surrounding the placement of a WiFi tower near the Creston School is not over.

Two lawsuits were filed by area residents earlier this year before the Creston School Board of Trustees voted unanimously Sept. 7 to allow Kalispell-based MontanaSky Networks to begin construction of a 118-foot-tall monopole at 131 Creston Road on a 40-by-40-foot easement.

Petr and Hana Kukla, who filed one of the lawsuits, dropped their claim Sept. 14.

But the other suit, filed by William Scott Rogers, is still moving forward.

On Monday Rogers filed a motion for a temporary injunction to halt the construction of the tower. Flathead District Judge Amy Eddy has the case, but a ruling on the motion has yet to be ordered.

According to District Court officials, the next hearing for a scheduling conference is Friday, Oct. 12.

In response to a motion by Rogers, MontanaSky opted to delay construction of the concrete pad where the tower would be placed.

“MontanaSky was advised by its legal counsel to stop work on the tower,” Creston School Principal Tami Ward said.

Rogers claimed in his suit, among other things, that the wireless tower and any attachments may interfere with the operation of his business. It also indicated concerns about waves from the towers causing health problems as well as his property being devalued by $120,000.

Rogers’ complaint also said the agreement between MontanaSky and the school violated an agreement in the deed with Eaner and Etter Higgins because he claimed the tower was not going to be erected for school purposes and that it was for a business venture.

In the school’s response to Rogers, it said it didn’t have information regarding the business and it also denied that MontanaSky had the right to sublease part or all of the tower.

In terms of health problems, the school asserted that radio-frequency emissions from antennas used for cell transmissions result in exposure levels that are typically thousands of times below safety limits adopted by the Federal Communications Commission, based on recommendations of expert organizations and endorsed by agencies of the federal government responsible for health and safety.

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