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Cornelius News

Cell phone tower: CMS is calling

Example of a 'stealth tower'

Example of a ‘stealth tower’

May 11. By Suzanne Fulton. It looks like there could be a cell phone tower near Bailey Middle School or Hough High School. Indeed, the Berkley Group was invited by the principals of both schools to hold a community meeting the evening of Monday, May 18 at Bailey Middle’s Media Room. Notices about the meeting, which starts at 5:30 pm,  were received by residents of neighborhoods near the school as well as parents of students.

There’s already discussion about the proposal on Facebook. Some residents are concerned about the health impact of radio frequencies emitting from the tower. Cornelius restricts poles to a limit of 35 feet unless the pole is co-located, such as on a church steeple, said Wayne Herron, head of the Town of Cornelius Planning Department.

A vendor to AT&T, The Berkley Group has built cell towers at several Charlotte area schools beginning with Providence High School 18 years ago, said Bonnie Newell on behalf of Berkley.

A particular spot or spots on CMS property may be proposed at the time of the meeting. Land parcels under consideration are:  007-131-16, 007-132-93 (19.3 acres) or 007-121-01, 02, 007-122-05, 06, 07, 08 (68.26 acres).  To locate these parcels online, visit http://polaris3g.mecklenburgcountync.gov/

Typical tower height is more than 120 feet. At the time of this writing, Herron had not been able to talk with a representative from Berkley Group to share information.

Herron added his office received “a lot of calls [about the event notices] from the neighbors.”

Studies by respected entities have concluded that the danger to health at ground level near a cell tower is very low and not nearly as significant as using a cell phone.

Erecting a cell tower on school grounds would add desired capacity for ever-increasing devices used in schools. And the ongoing revenue from such a lease would help bolster CMS’s capital fund.