• 50°

Columbus Lions seek $65,000 tower for new cross

The Columbus Lions are continuing their efforts to bring the cross back to Tryon Peak, but may need a new tower and some support from the community.
The cross was first mounted on Tryon Peak over 50 years ago and was lit every Easter and Christmas season, both as a religious symbol and as a symbol of peace and good will.
Then on April 17, 2009, Crown Castle International (CCI), the owner of the tower on which the cross was mounted, removed the cross in order to do maintenance.
Members of the Columbus club immediately began negotiating with Jon Haley, Property Manager for CCI, to have the cross returned to the tower.
In initial phone conversations he was encouraging, saying, “I would imagine that the resulting tower structures capacity will be more than adequate to handle the additional loading of some fashion of cross.”
However, in a later communication, he spoke of regulatory and legal concerns along with the crosss space usage and weight on the tower.
“I dont have any official indication that this is the way Crown is leaning,” the manager told the Lions, “but my sense is that itll be a hard sell to put the cross back up on the tower.”
The cross hardware that had been removed was discarded by the maintenance contractor.
Subsequently, the Lions formed a Cross Committee with the goal of exploring every possible avenue of returning the cross to the Polk County community.
This committee, led by Lion Roger Newman, has recently received a commitment from CCI to give the Lions a long-term lease on a portion of their land on Tryon Peak and to pay for the legal portion of the lease agreement.
In order to complete the restoration of the cross on Tryon Peak, the Lions, through community support, would pay for the land survey, the erection of a new tower and the mounting of a new cross. A very rough estimate of the cost of this undertaking is $65,000.
In light of the great expense and project management requirements, the Columbus Lions will need a strong commitment from the community. For more information, or to help, contact Roger Newman at brn102449@hotmail.com or call 859-3154.