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Township Mulls Cell Tower Proposal

Posted: February 17, 2011

The first step in inviting public discourse about a cell tower lease proposal got underway at last Tuesday’s council meeting.

When the concept was first presented to the council more than a year ago, initial concerns from residents pertained to the proximity of schools and prolonged exposure to radiation emitted from a cell tower installation.

Concerns about environmental impacts persist and Township Manager John Lovell has indicated that these issues must be satisfactorily addressed before any decisions are made.

A study of the municipal site by service provider AT&T is underway and results will be provided to the township in the next several weeks. This comes on the heels of an initial evaluation of radio frequency emissions conducted by AT&T’s consultant which found that the maximum exposure level will be less than one percent of the exposure limits permitted by FCC regulations.

A cell tower can generate much needed revenue for the township. According to John Lovell, a twenty-five year lease commitment should generate $2,000 per month with a 3% annual escalation.

The tower would be located on municipal property in place of the current radio tower which was used for emergency services radio transmissions prior to the change over to the county’s dispatching service earlier this month. The cell tower “pole” would be approximately fifty feet higher than the current radio tower.