School Internet tower gets OK

An effort to improve Internet service to a rural Seymour parochial school recently gained the support of the county.

St. John’s Sauers Lutheran School currently is served by a system with a speed of

1 megabyte.

The plan is to increase that speed to 10 megabytes by installing a 75-foot tower at the school at 1058 S. County Road 460E, Seymour.

“We’re way behind on infrastructure as far as the Internet goes,” Glen Sawyer told the nine-member county plan commission during a meeting this month.

Sawyer, who is president of the school board, said Internet access is so slow it won’t allow for the downloading of the Web-based curriculum the state requires.

Plan Commission President Curt Wischmeier said there was no doubt the tower was needed.

“It’s a very dead area,” Wischmeier said.

Board members opted to approve a request for a special exception to use the 35.50-acre site, zoned agriculture, for a tower. Special exceptions also require approval from the county board of zoning appeals, but the board opted to waive that requirement.

They also voted to give the school a variance from 35 feet to 75 feet for the tower. That variance also requires board of zoning appeals approval, which also was waived by the plan commission.

Board attorney Susan Bevers said the county ordinance would allow the board to waive the need for the height variance if the school were a public school.

The board also could waive the requirement if the tower was viewed as a transmission tower, Bevers said.

Board member Bill Burnside said he felt that move was appropriate since the tower would be for the benefit of the students at the school, which has an enrollment of about 120 children in preschool,

kindergarten and first through eighth grade.

The tower would sit on a concrete pad and would be set up by Extreme Wireless of Seymour.

Keith Miller with Extreme Wireless said that company rents space on a 129-foot tower in Seymour, and the new tower at Sauers would connect with that tower.

Author photo
Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.