Pierce County families upset over new communications tower

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on November 8, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 8 at 7:01 PM

Some military families in Pierce County say they were blindsided by the government.

One day they looked up to find a new emergency communications tower in the middle of their neighborhood.

"I walked out and there it was." said Robert Hayes, a paramedic at Madigan Healthcare System. "I was not notified and that's just wrong."

Towering over Hayes' home is a new Pierce County Communications tower.

It's located in a quiet cul-de-sac where the residents are primarily military families.

Many say the tower will devalue their properties.

"I outraged. I would like it to be torn down." said Army widow Mechelle Winder, who used her husband's death benefits to buy her nest-egg home. 

The tower is now across the street from her house.

Her husband, Sgt. First Class Special Forces Green Beret Medic Nathan Winder, was killed in Iraq in 2007.

Winder agrees the communications tower is for the greater good, but believes she has sacrificed enough.

"We paid our dues and I don't think I should risk losing my home or its value in addition to that for the greater good," she said.

The city of DuPont owns the property and allowed Pierce County to locate the tower in the residential neighborhood.

The city vows it will work with the homeowners.

"Perhaps we can plant some trees or mitigate the site line for them." said DuPont Administrator Ted Danek.

The families have threatened a lawsuit.

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