Community Fights Against Proposed Cell Tower

Image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow

JAMESTOWN-Community members spoke out against Verizon’s proposed Hallock St. cell tower at Wednesday’s Planning Board Meeting at City Hall.

“I’ve done a lot of things in my political career and nothing has ever gotten my constituents fired up like this cell tower, ” said County Legislator Dave Wilfong who spoke during the public comment session. “We don’t want that in our neighborhood.”

“Those are our homes where that cell tower is going.”

Wilfong asked the board to vote ‘no’ on the proposed project.

Michael Saxton, a Myrtle St. resident and Navy Veteran, spoke to the board about possible health effects the new tower would bring to the neighborhood.

“I worked in a radar shop that worked with antenna wave propagation that transmits wave just like the towers,” Saxton said. “You can not just stand in front of the rays when they are engendered; you do not want to have your bedroom next to these towers.”

WNYNewsNow attempted to ask project engineers with Verizon to clarify the health risks, but the team declined to comment and directed us to their PR office.

The American Cancer Society, however, reports the chances of becoming ill when living near a tower are slight. Public exposure to radio waves from cell phone towers is less likely to impact people’s health because power levels are relatively low, much lower than radio and television signals. Also, signals from cell towers are transmitted intermittently rather than constantly.

Other proposed sites include Bergman Park and the use of small cell boosters along the Fairmount Ave. corridor. Verizon officials say, however, those solutions will not fix the capacity issue presented.

The FCC regulates cell companies like a public utility. Verizon said they are required to maintain coverage in the Jamestown area.

The Verizon team notes that there is “limited flexibility” where the project could be located.

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