By John Denny Observer Reporter
(Bath Village, Nevis) ” A new 100-foot cell phone tower sprung up last weekend despite protests from neighbors, restrictive covenants and a legal notice calling for construction to cease on the project. This is the second time Arthur Gilbert of Trinity Towers Ltd. has tried to put up this tower in the Bath Village neighborhood. The last attempt to erect this tower was stopped through legal action. Trinity Towers Ltd. is not connected with Trinity Broadcasting. Trinity Broadcasting Network General Manager Andre Gilbert, who is Arthur Gilbert’s son, has been the most vocal protestor of the new tower, citing health concerns over radiation emitted from the tower. Andre also claims that the new tower is not only ugly, but it has been constructed in front of his satellite antenna array and may cause interference. “He tried to put it up in front of my house, but we were successful in stopping it,” Andre said. “It would seem as if he were doing this out of spite.” The bad blood between the father and son started around 2006 when Arthur was the General Manager of TBN. Andre claims their falling out was the result of abuse his mother suffered at the hands of Arthur. This behaviour led Andre to question his father’s business practices as well, which led to Andre being fired from TBN. “My father is an opportunist. Some of the things he was doing here at TBN were just fraud and when (TBN management) came down here to investigate, they fired him,” Andre said. Some of the examples Andre gave of these charges were Arthur paying his employees from his landscaping business with TBN funds and erecting a cell phone tower and buildings on the site of the TBN transmitter. Since Arthur was fired in 2007, he has been a constant thorn in Andre’s side. “He is very stubborn and when he loses, he takes it very personally,” said Andre. “My life has been threatened because of all this. I received an anonymous call and a voice I didn’t recognize said I better watch my back because I might lose my life over this tower. I hired some security for a while, but I decided this was just intimidation.” The property the cell tower was erected on was purchased from Ursula Huggins-Whitney. She has had less than satisfactory dealings with Arthur Gilbert before. On a previous deal, he bought a small piece of property that is also adjacent to the TBN station and said he wanted it for horses. Mrs. Whitney, who is a former President of the Nevis Turf and Jockey Club, thought horses would be just fine, but the deal turned bad when he tried to erect a cell tower on the property. “I think the main reason we were able to stop it was the fact it was right next to a school,” said Mrs. Whitney. “These towers produce a lot of radiation and are not considered very healthy to have in highly populated areas like Bath Village.” Arthur Gilbert approached Mrs. Whitney about buying the lot on the other side of the TBN station saying he was giving the property to his daughter to build a house on. Being suspicious of Arthur’s intentions, she placed very restrictive covenants on the property as conditions of the sale. “He has already violated the two main (provisions) and those are there is to be no commercial enterprise and there are to be no structures higher than 17 feet,” she said. “He has completely ignored the terms of the sale and I can’t get a response from anyone in the Administration on this. I tried to see Premier Parry to talk to him about this. I waited just like everyone else and then his personal secretary came out and told me he would not be able to see me. I left all the papers I had on the matter, but never heard anything. I thought he was in Iceland, but I heard later that he did not leave for several days after. A simple phone call would have made me feel a lot better about this. I used to be an NRP supporter, but now I feel ignored.” Mrs. Whitney has hired counsel on the matter. They are trying to file an injunction, but judges are hard to find this time of year, she said. A bailiff has the papers to serve Arthur Gilbert, but no one seems to know where he lives and the Observer was unable to make contact with him. “(An employee) from (NIA) planning (department) told them they should stop construction on the project, but they didn’t listen,” Mrs. Whitney said. “It is my understanding that the (NIA) cabinet gave their approval for the construction. This guy is breaking the law and the government does not seem to care. I am very, very upset about this.”