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Debate over cell towers in Winston-Salem continues

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Residents of the Silver Chalice neighborhood are one of two locations that could soon have a cell phone tower in their backyard.

Monday the city council put on hold making a decision on the towers after city staff say they never heard from any residents of the Silver Chalice neighborhood.

"When I found out about [the meetings] I had about 2 weeks," said neighborhood resident Kim Poteat. "The meeting was at 4:30 in the afternoon and I was rushing to get home but still missed the meeting."

Poteat says the mailer she received about the proposed tower also include a non-working phone number for a representative of the American Towers Company. The company and AT&T are hoping to erect two towers in residential neighborhoods, one off Burke Mill Road and the other off Reidsville Road, which is in Poteat's backyard.

"I’m concerned if it's going to put off anything hazardous. I'm concerned if it will attract more lighting, you know you get more electrical activity," Poteat said. "I'm hoping they could find another area."

Poteat's main concern on the health effects of a tower may never be used in the decision making. Federal law prevents the city council from making their decisions based on the environmental effects of radio transmission.

"It's pretty much in my back yard," said resident Andrew Thompson, who questions if the 150+ foot tower will hurt his property value. "Anything that would improve signals for cell phone I'm for that, but if it's going to disrupt the property and take away from the property value we don't want that."

The city council hopes another month will give residents of the neighborhood more time to contact city staff and company officials with questions.

Residents can also share their concerns before the city council at their next meeting July 7.


  • Lou Argenta

    A law that prevents health concerns from being considered when a potential health hazard is being constructed is a law that needs to recinded. Exactly who were the people that voted for such a law. Which ballot was it on? Can any one think of any other law that prevents the health of people to be considered when something is built?

    In fact, there is great concern as to the health hazards of radio towers that send off electromagnetic impulses twenty four hours a day, 365 days a week. These towers cannot be built near schools and hospitals in many cities. Why? There are several fire fighters unions that forbid these towers near fire stations . Why? The fact is, there very litte need of all these new towers outside of making money for a company in Raleigh . Why exactly are these new towers necessary? Does anyone know anyone whose property values went up because a radio was built in their black yard.

    • bobyvan

      Really, you think that a large corporation such as AT&T is going to build unnecessary towers? AT&T has some of the worse coverage around here! I worked for Dish Network. In most of the US, including Charlotte, Dish uses AT&T. But here, they use Verizion because their coverage is so much better. There are many ares in W-S on AT&T’s coverage maps that are coded as “moderate”.

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