A legal tussle over a cell tower location in the city has come to an amicable ending.

The parties agreed to dismissal of the case with prejudice, according to an Oct. 29 filing in U.S. District Court in Aberdeen.

After the sides disagreed over a location on Highway 72, the city sought to find another location. A piece of property jointly owned by the city and county on South Harper Road near Corinth Fire Station #4 and Oakland Baptist Church was offered for lease and accepted by Rural Cellular Corporation doing business as Verizon Wireless.

The company will pay $12,000 annually to lease the property, with the city and county splitting the fee evenly. Verizon wants to add a tower to boost its coverage in the Highway 72 and South Harper Road area to improve reception inside buildings, reduce dropped and non-connection of calls and increase data speeds.

The lawsuit against the city and the aldermen in their official capacities stemmed from a July 2020 decision by the Corinth Board of Mayor and Aldermen to deny a zoning variance for a proposed 250-foot tower topped by a 10-foot lightning rod off of Sara Lane behind Mapco on Highway 72, citing safety and aesthetic concerns. The site is near an apartment complex.

In the lawsuit, Verizon alleged discrimination among cell service providers and pointed to approval of a tower less than a mile from the proposed highway site for AT&T in 2018.

For the South Harper Road site, the city board approved a zoning variance to increase the maximum allowed height from 50 feet to 200 feet.

The Alcorn County Board of Supervisors gave final approval to join in the lease arrangement on the property in October.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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