A bill that was publicly opposed by several local officials in Kendall County, Oswego, Aurora and elsewhere has been signed into law.
On Thursday, Governor Bruce Rauner approved SB1451, which is known as the "Small Cell Wireless Bill."
In a press conference and statement, Rauner praised the initiative saying that, "small cells are lower-profile wireless signal alternatives to traditional cell towers that can be attached to existing structures."
He added that "their deployment will help lay the foundation required to support the technologies of the future, such as the next generation wireless systems known as 5G."
The Governor estimated the creation of 100,000 jobs statewide with $9 billion invested over the next seven years.
But municipal government officials around the state, including locally, came out against the bill in 2017.
In a 2017 interview, Oswego Village President Gail Johnson told WSPY that the legislation takes away control from local governments and instead allows the state to place cell boxes the size of mini-refrigerators on power poles.
Johnson, Kendall County Board Chair Scott Gryder, Kane County Board Chair Chris Lauzen and several others met in 2017 to formally object to legislation.
Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who was also present at that meeting, posted about concerns over potential interference with the next generation of public safety equipment for police and fire.
Oswego President Johnson also shared those similar sentiments in the 2017 interview with WSPY.
On Thursday, Governor Rauner told press at the event that his approval of the bill, "is a compromise." He said the legislation, "isn't perfect, but it does keep local control, specific rule of technology at the local level, and we think it's a very important step in the right direction.”
This article originally ran on wspynews.com.